A highly successful serial entrepreneur, Iyinoluwa “E” Aboyeji is the co-founder and former CEO of Flutterwave, co-founder and former director of Andela, co-founder and general partner of Future Africa, and co-founder and chairman of Talent City Inc.
Through Flutterwave, a payments company, Pan-African merchants are assisted in carrying out business on global scale. Under Iyinoluwa’s leadership as CEO, Flutterwave has become one of the fastest-growing payments technology businesses of all-time, attracting significant investments from Y Combinator , Greycroft, Greenvisor Capital and Mastercard.
“It pays to solve a very big problem,” he told How We Made It In Africa. “Our continent has massive challenges and those of who are working in IT just can’t stay at the level of solving peripheral problems for a thin middle class. We actually have to build the future, we have think about ways that IT can completely change the landscape and go after those opportunities.”
The company came about during Iyinoluwa’s time at Andela, to address a problem that had come up frequently over the years. Andela, Africa’s largest engineering organisation with over 1000 software engineers among its ranks, has received millions in investment funding from Google Ventures and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.
“My team would come in from the US and they would find it very difficult to pay for things at bars,” he explained. “Not a big deal at all to be quite frank, but it did open up my curiosity – particularly with some of the charges we faced around getting paid from clients in Nigeria… Even just getting money into the country was a pretty messy process from a New York HQ base.”
Iyinoluwa currently serves as the chairman of Future Africa, a platform for providing capital, coaching and community to innovators and entrepreneurs looking to solve problems throughout the continent.
“A lot of people build businesses and they want to have a big brand right in front, they want to be the only one who captures all the opportunity that they create, all the value that they create,” he said. “I think platform businesses are far more successful in Africa—where you’re helping other people make money as you make money, and their success is your success, rather than businesses where you are the only one who is ‘eating’, as we say”
He is a member of the board Paris’ Share Africa Project, Rainbow Educational Services Limited, and Filmo Realty.
Iyinoluwa has a bachelor’s in legal studies from the University of Waterloo.Tags: Africa, Entrepreneurship, Investment and Funding, Nigeria, payment processing, start