Flutterwave, a Nigeria and US-based fintech startup, has reportedly announced that it has launched a new ecommerce platform called Flutterwave Store. This store allows African merchants to sell their products online by making digital shops.
As per the reliable sources, the Flutterwave Store is the company’s response against the present coronavirus pandemic, however Flutterwave CEO, Olugbenga Agboola, stated that the service would remain operational even after the pandemic ends.
Agboola further emphasized that this new platform is not a pivot away from what the company is known for; a payment infrastructure firm. This new launch is not a change in the direction for the company. It remains a B2B payment infrastructure company and Flutterwave is not moving into the online retail business.
To create their own store on the platform, merchants need to fill the required data about themselves and their bank accounts on the official website. A merchant ID is then provided to merchants through which they can carry out transactions with their customers.
The unique platform enables SMEs to create their own online stores and without any inventory demands. Additionally, the company states that this platform would help SMEs in the 15 African nations where it is being launched during the coronavirus crisis as well as after the pandemic. South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana are some of the countries included in the list of 15 nations.
For merchants this service would be free of cost since the startup would be taking commissions based on payments only. In addition, the company would also work with logistics companies such as Kenya’s Sendy and Nigeria’s Sendbox to help its merchants with their pickup and delivery operations.
Africa’s medium and small companies together make up around 80% of its total employment, creating a new middle class and impelling demand for new services and products. However, most of these businesses do not have an online presence. Some B2B platforms like Jumia Marketplace have brought the number of online SMEs up significantly, and Flutterwave now trying to take this number higher.