Microsoft has partnered with Nigerian fintech startup, Flutterwave, as the latter aims to build its next-generation platform on Microsoft Azure, to accelerate payment innovation in Africa, and drive the growth of small businesses across the continent.
Olugbenga Agboola, Founder and CEO of Flutterwave, described the partnership as a coming together of visionaries and go-getters. He highlighted that the five-year partnership will go beyond just transactions, and would bring transformation to the small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) sector.
While SMEs help drive Africa’s progress and development, they face significant challenges, especially when starting out. Research from the African Union Development Agency has estimated that around five out of seven SMEs in Africa are likely to fail in their first year.
Financial difficulties stand among the primary challenges affecting both SMEs and startups. They have limited access to financial services and difficulties in conducting seamless transactions across various local payment methods. Flutterwave seeks to address this issue, and in turn, help reduce Africa’s startup failure rate, which currently sits at 54%
The fintech company, which has already made a name for itself by placing among the largest financial tech companies in Africa, aims to accomplish this by bolstering its multiple payment methods, including local and international cards, mobile wallets, and bank transfers.
Country Manager at Microsoft Nigeria, Ola Williams, stated, “to drive sustainable growth in Nigeria, small businesses need the ability to participate more actively in the local and even global marketplace. This begins with digital financial inclusion. If we want to build a more resilient country and ultimately a more prosperous continent, we must begin by giving these businesses the digital financial services they need, not just to survive, but to thrive.”
What Flutterwave Stands to Gain from Switching to Azure
By transitioning from its legacy infrastructure to Azure, Flutterwave will enhance its capacity to process high-volume payments at scale. This transition ensures a seamless and secure payment experience for its clients. Leveraging Azure OpenAI Service, Flutterwave will also gain the opportunity to scale its product offering to reach millions of merchants globally.
Founded in 2016, Flutterwave has made significant progress in democratizing payments in Africa. Collaborating with Microsoft, the payments technology company aims to further fuel growth and revolutionize payment solutions for businesses across Africa.