African payments startup, Flutterwave, has announced the appointment of Jimmy Ku as the Head of US Growth.
With plans to offer payment services to US-based clients, local businesses, and companies, Ku’s appointment strengthens Flutterwave’s vision for the US market.
Founded in 2016 by Olugbenga Agboola and Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Flutterwave provides a payment infrastructure for merchants and payment services providers in Africa.
The fintech startup claims to simplify payments for limitless possibilities by making it easier for Africans to launch global businesses that can make and receive payments from anywhere in the world.
Ku has co-founded five startups and has over 17 years of consulting, startup, and investment experience. He was previously the Chief Operations Officer at MixerBox.Inc, a mobile media platform.
“I’m very glad to have joined Flutterwave to drive business growth in the US. I look forward to growing with the Flutterwave team whilst building a stronger payments infrastructure for US companies with African technology,” Ku says.
He has also worked as a venture scout for 10X Capital and Grishin Robotics, where he has assisted in raising over $340 million in venture capital funding over the last three years.
“We are delighted to welcome Jimmy to our team at Flutterwave. Jimmy’s experience in the technology, start-up and innovation space greatly enhances our team’s credentials for expansion into the US market,” Agboola says.
Although Ku’s appointment implies Flutterwave will begin focusing on the US market, it’s unclear how it intends to compete in such a competitive market. The startup will be going against some of the biggest fintech companies like Square, and PayPal, which operates in more than 200 countries.
We reached out to Flutterwave for some clarity on its business strategy but were yet to get a response as of press time.
While Flutterwave’s expansion into the US could encourage more African startups to penetrate the world’s largest economy, it’s unclear if Flutterwave will continue the same business model it runs in Africa.
Recall that Flutterwave partnered with PayPal, an American online payments system, to allow African merchants to receive payments from PayPal users across the globe.
Also, it recently partnered with other US fintech giants like Forter and Worldpay FIS to accelerate digital financial payments solutions around the world.
In March 2021, Flutterwave became a unicorn after raising $170 million in Series C funding. And in July 2021, the payments platform appointed former MTN and Visa executive, Oluwabankole Falade, as its new Chief Regulatory and Government Relations Officer.
Flutterwave believes that the US market is a huge market for local businesses looking to simplify payments while providing goods and services to their customers.
Agboola expects Ku’s experience in the tech and startup space to help Flutterwave’s US expansion while he helps to create new products and services.