Just eight weeks after raising $24 million in a funding round led by Mark Zuckerberg’s foundation, Andela, one of Nigeria’s best-known startups, is saying goodbye to its co-founder Iyinoluwa ‘E’ Aboyeji.
Aboyeji, the face of the high profile Lagos-based coder training company, is now starting a new startup called Flutterwave, a digital payments infrastructure platform that will aggregate various payment methods for merchants, banks, and money transfer operators across Africa.
So far the Flutterwave platform is live in just Nigeria and Ghana, but the team is already working on building out a pan-African network. Aboyeji and his team are spending much of their time signing up multinational African banks to help its clients moving money around the continent.News of Aboyeji’s departure will raise eyebrows in Nigerian tech circles and elsewhere on the continent. When a press release announced Andela’s funding in June without any mention of the popular and well-regarded young entrepreneur Nigerian bloggers immediately set about attempting to correct the record. Some were especially upset of the description of Andela as a ‘New York-based startup’.
In truth Andela, whose operations are predominantly in Lagos and, more recently, also in Nairobi, is incorporated in New York and Lagos. It was co-founded by a team including Aboyeji and chief executive Jeremy Johnson, who helped back Aboyeji’s original vision to create a training platform for coders as well as an outsourcing firm for the software developers they train. It’s an idea Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan found particularly attractive as their first major investment through their Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.