Flutterwave success story

Background story

Flutterwave is a Nigerian fintech startup founded in 2016 by Iyinoluwa Aboyeji and Olugbenga Agboola. The company began by providing a payment platform for businesses in Nigeria but quickly expanded to other countries in Africa. Flutterwave’s platform allows businesses to accept customer payments through multiple channels, including credit and debit cards, mobile money, and bank transfers.

Over the years, Flutterwave has grown rapidly and has become one of Africa’s leading fintech companies. It has processed over $10 billion in transactions and has partnerships with major companies such as Visa, Mastercard, and First Bank of Nigeria. In addition, the company has expanded to other African countries and has offices in Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, and Kenya.

Despite these challenges, Flutterwave’s founders were determined to make their company successful. They worked tirelessly to build relationships with regulators and partners and invested heavily in marketing and customer acquisition.


Why we invested

We connected with the founders’ of Flutterwave in 2015 when we were first introduced. We invested in Flutterwave because we saw it as a promising fintech startup with a unique and innovative payment platform that addresses a significant market opportunity in Africa.

In addition, we very early saw the company’s growth and revenue generation potential through transaction fees. We also loved its strong management team, which had very experienced founders, which was a significant factor in our decision to invest.


How we worked with them

When Flutterwave first launched, it faced several challenges. First, the payments industry in Africa was heavily regulated, and the company needed help to navigate the complex regulatory landscape. Additionally, many businesses in Africa needed to be used to accepting digital payments, which made it difficult to gain traction.

Our first engagement with the team support was leveraging our network to support their initial incorporation process and navigating the complexity of setting up the business.

Subsequently, we helped with funding. In May 2018, we led the $10 million investment round, which included other investors like Greycroft Partners, Raba Capital, Golden Palm Investments and others. This funding round helped Flutterwave to scale its operations, expand its customer base, build its infrastructure, hire more staff and develop new features to improve its platform.

Over the years before we exited, we leveraged our networks in the fintech sector and the continent to provide support, mentorship, and guidance to the founders and management team to help navigate the challenges of scaling and growing.


How has it helped

Flutterwave is considered one of the most successful fintech companies in Africa. The company has experienced rapid growth since its founding in 2016 and has become one of the leading fintech companies in Africa.

Flutterwave has been recognized as one of the most innovative companies in Africa and has won several awards, including the “Best Mobile Payment Platform” award at the 2018 Nigeria Technology Awards, and was named one of the “10 Most Innovative Companies in Africa” by Fast Company in 2019.

Flutterwave’s success is also demonstrated by its financial performance. The company raised $170m in series E funding in 2020, valued at $1 billion.

As of 2021, Flutterwave has processed over $10 billion in transactions and has partnerships with major companies such as Visa, Mastercard, and First Bank of Nigeria. In addition, the company has expanded to other African countries and has offices in Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, and Kenya.

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Pezesha’s success story

Comms and PR team, GHC



Background story

Pezesha is a Kenyan fintech startup founded by Hilda Moraa that connects micro-entrepreneurs with investors through its online platform. The company aims to provide access to financial services and support to underbanked and underserved small businesses in Kenya.

In 2016, we invested in Pezesha with seed funding to develop its technology platform and expand its operations.

When Pezesha was first launched, it was a small startup with a limited customer base and a narrow focus. However, with the help of Hilda Moraa’s leadership and vision, the company was able to grow rapidly and expand its reach.


Why we invested

Beyond the product being a strong and viable solution, we invested in Pezesha for two main reasons: First was the passion and tenacity of the founder – Hildaa Moraa, who had previously built and sold a business in the same space and second was the traction they had achieved within a short period.

At the point of investing, the business had facilitated over 80,000 loans on the platform, with about $2 million in transaction volume and over 3,000 lenders in the marketplace. It was also operational in about 3 African countries at the time.


How we worked with them

Our work with Pezesha has been multi-fold; they have provided financial support, strategic advice, and mentorship to help Pezesha navigate the market and scale its operations. In addition, we have been instrumental in assisting Pezesha in building its team, developing its go-to-market strategy, and raising additional funding from other investors.


How has it helped

The investment in Pezesha is an excellent example of how venture capital can support early-stage startups in Africa and help them to overcome challenges and achieve their potential. We are proud to have been part of a journey that has been instrumental in Pezesha’s growth and impact, helping thousands of micro-entrepreneurs’ access loans and investment opportunities, enabling them to grow their businesses and improve their livelihoods.

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Greenhouse Lab announces 2021 cohort for founders-backed fintech accelerator

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Google’s Black Founders Fund invests in three Greenhouse Capital portfolio companies

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Hosting a successful virtual accelerator programs and events

Hosting a Successful Virtual Accelerator Programs and Events

The world continues to pivot at the beckon of what has been a torrent of a global health crisis. At GreenHouse Capital, adapting to the realities of today has become our strength. We recently completed our 2021 Accelerator Demo Day featuring nine African startups who pitched to some of the most sought-after investors on the continent. 


If “mute your mic” was the most used word at the 2020 virtual meeting, in 2021 it had to be “in-person,” which we repeatedly used to clearly state that an event was going to be face-to-face or imitate a physical event experience. GreenHouse Capital was not left out. The grand finale was the Demo Day hosted by Rocketship, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Hopin with over 70 participants and followed up with personal introductions between founders and investors. The program was a great success with founders and investors sharing insights, pitching, and exchanging ideas. However, as many other incubators and accelerators look to continue to host virtual events, we believe this presents an opportunity for the ecosystem to not just to adjust to but to thrive in the new normal of virtual incubator and accelerator programs. In this piece, we aim to answer the burning question: how can venture capital firms host successful virtual accelerator programs and events? 

Here are our takeaways:

Utilize Researched Curriculum and Adapt it where needed: One of the key resources we leveraged was our curated program and curriculum templates from our previous in-person events. We dug into our existing learning resources and then adapted them to reflect current trends and challenges in the ecosystem. The idea was to tailor these materials to 2021 and then source expert mentors and facilitators that could provide ongoing case studies to facilitate these programs. 


Be flexible in Adopting New Platforms: We centralized our curated curriculum using Rocketship – an accelerator platform. With Rocketship, we streamlined program management: we posted agendas, profiles of facilitators, mentors, and founders. It allowed free-flow tracking of program schedules and founders’ attendance and connected founders directly with mentors/facilitators. This is highly prioritized as virtual events are subject to glitches, especially if there is a lack of communication.

The second platform integrated for the Demo Day was Hopin. We wanted the founders to have booths and networking sessions with investors. We were also deploying polls to gather sentiments and as a follow-up strategy. For instance, investors who may not have visited the booths signaled interest via the polls. We were then able to track and follow up with introductions. 


Develop and Stick With a Strong Theme: The main theme of our event centered around a key part of GreenHouse Capital’s ethos: Founders backing Founders. We ensured that this theme was echoed in the execution of all event-related communications. GHC brought experts, investors, and other key partnerships to the accelerator to enhance the cohort founder’s experiences. The founder-mentors in the GHC portfolio stepped up for the GHL cohort by offering knowledge and investment support.

This is important as financial technology becomes more complex, especially in operational management and navigating regulators. There is so much happening in the ecosystem, existing architectures are being replaced with new ones or working in parallel, so there is a need for such alliances to foster an improved user experience and customer acquisition. Within the Cohort, this ethos was seen played out. 

Lastly, as virtual accelerator and demo day have become part of the ecosystem trend, it is also an opportunity for startups to provide founders with a diverse range of skills towards scaling their businesses. With a physical event, you can tell when the audience is distracted. Still, with a virtual event, it is almost impossible to discern who is paying attention. As virtual events present an opportunity for cost reduction, founders have to put in the work and study platforms, learn how to navigate virtual platforms, and adapt to the new trend.

We hope founders and investors alike can take these insights and implement them in their own programs. We will see you all at our  2022 Accelerator Program!  

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Finalists for Greenhouse Lab 2019 announced

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Gricd Wins Greenhouse Lab Demo Day 2019

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Nigerian VC firm Greenhouse Capital plans to further leverage initial coin offering (ICO) market as an alternative channel for accessing capital in 2018

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