Flutterwave, Africa’s cross-border payments startup has appointed American Express and Kabbage, executive Oneal Bhambani as its new Chief Financial Officer after its recent $250 million Series D funding, valuing the company at over $3 billion.
Flutterwave is going through a period of rapid growth and people close to the firm say its gearing up for an Initial Public Offer (IPO) and the new CFO will help the firm go public.
In a statement, Olugbenga ‘GB’ Agboola, Founder and CEO of Flutterwave, said:“I am excited to welcome Oneal to Flutterwave. His track record of operating finance to enable scale and innovation with listed company standard financial controls will help us accelerate our growth as we continue to meet the needs of our expanding global customer base. I am also looking forward to working with Oneal on deal-related initiatives, given the number of inorganic opportunities we are seeing in today’s market environment.”
Oneal joins the company from Kabbage where he managed fintech businesses operating at scale and helped lead the sale of Kabbage and its integration within American Express’ Global Commercial Services segment.
At Kabbage, Oneal was responsible for all of the company’s financial operations and functions including IPO-ready financial and operational controls. Following the American Express acquisition in April 2022, he was the CFO and Head of Capital Markets of Kabbage’s business unit, which provides credit, banking, and payments solutions to American Express’ commercial customers.
Before and after the acquisition, Oneal was a key stakeholder in capital allocation and led critical strategic initiatives for the business. Earlier in his career, Oneal was a growth-stage investor at The TCW Group (an investment firm owned by The Carlyle Group), and Riverwood Capital. He began his career in investment banking at UBS.
At American Express, Oneal was Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Head of Capital Markets of Kabbage, one of the world’s largest fintech platforms offering credit, banking and payments solutions. Previously, as CFO of late-stage, pre-IPO Kabbage, Oneal helped lead its acquisition and integration within American Express. Oneal’s experience managing large-scale operations and capital markets will help continue Flutterwave’s growth, accelerate the company’s expansion, further develop credit products and prepare for a potential IPO in the future.
This period of growth has enabled Flutterwave to further add to its Global Finance team, bringing in executives with a strong track record in controllership, treasury, and tax.
Former Kabbage Controller, Rebecca Mendel, and former Kabbage Head of Treasury and Tax, Daniel Eidson, have also joined the company and will report directly to Oneal. Following its Series D funding round in February 2022, which valued the company at over $3 billion, Flutterwave continues to deliver strong growth as the African economy increasingly shifts to digital payments.
“It is a rare opportunity to join a high-scale, de facto market leader in one of the fastest growing markets in the world. I am looking forward to partnering with Flutterwave’s team to enable solutions for our customers in Africa and across the globe. I fully expect to apply best-in-class strategies learned from my tenures at American Express and Kabbage,” said Bhambani.
Flutterwave which enables cross-border transactions via one API has processed over 200M transactions worth over USD $16B to date and serves more than 900,000 businesses including customers like Uber, Flywire, Booking.com, etc. The Company’s key advantage is international payment processing in 150 currencies and multiple payment modes including local and international cards, mobile wallets, bank transfers, Barter by Flutterwave, etc. Flutterwave has an infrastructure reach in over 34 African countries, including Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, and South Africa.
Though growing so fast, Flutterwave has not been without its fair share of shame especially its internal management issues which caught the attention of media from West Africa to across the world. Going public will save the investors and shareholders billions of money and helping them earn back their investments and also spread the risks with as many investors as possible from the public.
Flutterwave therefore needed an experienced executive to help it through this journey because an IPO can be a very risky investment if not well handled. Going public is also a challenging, time-consuming process that Flutterwave needs to put everything in order ready for public scrutiny with tons of paperwork and financial disclosures ready for roadshows. This is in the early stages but there is no doubt that Flutterwave’s early investors are preparing the company to cash out their investments and also help the company raise additional capital for its next level of growth.