With $250 million Series D, fintech Flutterwave becomes Africa’s most valuable startup – TechCrunch


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Hello and welcome to the Daily Crunch on Wednesday February 16, 2022! Most fundraising stories don’t go viral, but today is a bit of an exception – Flutterwave’s huge round had an impact, I can confirm.

But before that and the rest of the news, I’m happy to report that GV’s Terri Burns will be coming to TechCrunch Early Stage to talk about product-market fit, which should be a great session. We’ll see each other there! – alexander

TechCrunch’s top 3

  • Say hello to the Children’s Online Safety Act (KOSA): It might seem like it’s been years since former Facebook employee Frances Haugen leaked a bunch of company documents and made appearances before Congress to talk about the impact of social media on us, the people. humans. His revelations appear to be having an impact in the form of a new bill, which TechCrunch says “will require social media companies to offer users under 16 the option to protect their information, opt out of addictive features products, to opt out of algorithmic recommendations”. and more.
  • Flutterwave raises $250 million and triples its valuation: You now know that startups based and expanding in Africa raise a lot of venture capital. But even against that backdrop, Flutterwave’s new $3 billion valuation has got people sitting up and taking notice. The startup, we write, “facilitates cross-border payment transactions for small and large businesses in Africa via an API,” in case you didn’t know.
  • Welcome to the post-pandemic economy: No matter where you live and how locked down you are still thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy continues. Businesses that did well during lockdown are coming back to Earth, while others that had a bad run amid the COVID economy are recovering. For startups, it’s a new (old) world.

Startups/VCs

Today we start with what I call the Mary Ann rhythm. Mary Ann Azevedo is both a brilliant journalist and human while being the busiest person on the planet. From his voluminous archives, two stories of today:

  • Nomad raises $20 million: Founded by former residents of Twilio, Nomad wants to change the tenant-tenant relationship with products that can secure income for small landlords.
  • $200 million for low-code fintech apps: Mary Ann also wrote about Genesis, which just raised nine figures after securing $45 million last year, to help financial institutions build more apps, faster. Tiger, naturally, led the inning.

(Scroll down a bit to see one more from Mary Ann!) And now onto the rest of the day’s news and startup events!

  • Forget buying music archives. Buy YouTube Archive: It turns out that the financialization of content won’t stop at the music catalogs of booming superstars. And that’s not a diss, mind. TechCrunch writes that Spotter just raised $200 million to prepay creators for their video revenue, which it then collects over time. If anyone wants to offer me $100 million for future revenue from my already produced writing, say hello.
  • The ups and downs of discount: Our own Haje Jan Kamps has an article on the site today about discounts and how it can help – and hurt – your bottom line. He speaks from experience.
  • Music Therapy for Generation Z? Say hello to Spoke, a startup that just raised a modest funding round for music with benefits for your brain. Mindfulness isn’t new as a concept, but it tends to be tied to things like meditation, not music. Spoke is therefore something a bit new.
  • AI-powered storefronts are big business: This is our lesson from Voila, which has just collected 6 million dollars for this work. What is an AI-powered storefront? According to TechCrunch, instead of a boring list of links, the tech can create “customizable, shoppable storefronts by automatically detecting items in creators’ online content and then generating shoppable links,” which probably makes more sense. if you are an Instagram fan. What I am not.

And of course there was even more, including Instrumental raising big bucks for software manufacturing checks, Employment Hero becoming an AUD unicorn in an acquisition, and the latest episode of Equity digging into the correction in progress at Hopin.

9 fintech investors discuss what they’re looking for and how to pitch them in Q1 2022

A roll of US currency with a $10 bill on the outside, a portrait of Alexander Hamilton in the center.

Picture credits: John Piekos (Opens in a new window) /Getty Pictures

Public markets have cooled on fintechs in recent months, but for entrepreneurs still considering getting started, “the outlook is good,” according to the Magic 8 Ball.

In 2021, a third of all unicorns created were fintech companies: the sector attracted more than one VC in every five dollars invested last year.

But this data is available everywhere. What founders really want to know is: what are investors looking for right now?

To get a glimpse of what fintech investors are thinking in the first quarter of 2022, Mary Ann Azevedo reached out to nine of them.

“Each respondent was kind enough to let us know how they wanted to be introduced, and for the smiles, one of them shared an example of a cold email that worked,” she wrote.

(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams grow. You can join here.)

Big Tech inc.

  • Waymo 🤝 logistics: Waymo Via, the freight division of Alphabet’s self-contained unit, is teaming up with CH Robinson for a pilot project that will bring nine shipper digits into its orbit. The self-driving revolution seems to be coming in grandma gear instead of sixth, but, hey, slowly and steadily, the job will eventually be done.
  • Twitter to rate bots: Some bots on Twitter are terrible, trying to scam you out of your NFT or your sanity. Other bots on Twitter are very good at bringing information, art, or other delights to their followers. Twitter is rolling out “good bot” labels, it is reported, which is welcome because there are some really good little bots on the social service.
  • Privacy changes are coming to Android: Our very own Frederic Lardinois has the lowdown on Google wanting to bring its PrivacySandbox from Chrome to Android. As advertisers grapple with Apple’s changes to iOS privacy, updates to how major mobile platforms handle user data are seen as big business.
  • Snap teams up with TicketMaster: At the top of this newsletter, we noted that the economy is regaining IRL status after a few years of confinement. For proof of this change, look no further than today’s news that Snap – Snapchat’s parent company – is working with TicketMaster to connect its users to nearby events.

TechCrunch experts

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Picture credits: SEAN GLADWELL/Getty Images

TechCrunch is recruiting recruiters for TechCrunch Experts, an ongoing project where we interview top professionals about common issues and challenges in early-stage startups. If this is you or someone you know, you can let us know here.



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