Phoenix Browser Secures $100 Million Series A Fund
By Adedapo Adesanya
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday presented the National Honors Award to 437 Nigerians at the Abuja International Conference Center, and for the booming tech sector, six major heavyweights were recognised.
Tech entrepreneurs who are among the winners included Paystack co-founders Messrs. Ezra Olubi and Shola Akinlade; co-founder of Flutterwave and Andela, Mr. Iyin Aboyeji; Dr. Ola Brown of Flying Doctors Healthcare Investment; Ms. Funke Opeke, Founder and CEO of MainOne; and Mr. Olugbenga Agboola, co-founder and CEO of Flutterwave.
Paystack’s Shola Akinlade (CEO) and Ezra Olubi (CTO) both received the Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) award. In 2015, the duo co-founded Paystack to unlock Nigeria’s digital economy by offering businesses and individuals new ways to transact online and in the same year became the first Nigerian startup to participate in the program. Y Combinator accelerator, helping to propel it. on its journey to becoming one of Africa’s leading technology companies.
In 2020, the American fintech giant Stripe acquired Paystack for $200 millionwhich gave him unicorn status.
Mr. Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, popularly known as “E”, also received an OON. He is the son of the General Overseer of the Foursquare Gospel Church, Reverend Sam Aboyeji. However, he is best known for co-founding Andela in 2014 to train and place tech talent in Africa, starting with Nigeria.
He then co-founded a payment company, Flutterwave, of which he served as CEO; both companies are unicorns valued at billions of dollars. He has now left both companies.
He founded Future Africa, a venture capital fund focused on early-stage tech startups in Africa. The fund is backed by the founders of Andela, Paystack, Jumpbike and investors from LocalGlobe. He also founded Talent City, a futuristic charter city for tech professionals.
Dr. Ola Brown, founder of Flying Doctors Healthcare Investment (FDHIC), has been awarded the title of Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR). His company does venture capital and private investments in healthcare and invests in and operates larger healthcare infrastructure projects.
Dr. Ola also co-founded an early-stage venture capital firm, Greentree Investment Firm, which provides growth capital to African startups.
Mrs. Funke Opeke was appointed Member of the Order of the Niger (MON). She is the founder and CEO of MainOne, formerly Main One Cable Company. Equinix earlier this year completed the acquisition of MainOne in a $320 million deal as part of its Africa expansion strategy.
MainOne is West Africa’s leading communications services and network solutions provider that has built West Africa’s first 7,000 kilometer high-capacity submarine wired submarine, a project of 240 million dollars which was completed on time and on a limited budget in 2010.
Mr. Olugbenga Agboola, co-founder and CEO of Flutterwave, also gets an OON. He led the unicorn through a Series B funding round, which injected $35 million into the company with investments from MasterCard, CRE Ventures, Fintech Collective, 4DX Ventures and Raba Capital in 2020. At the start of this year, the African fintech company raised $250 million in a Series D round that tripled the value of the organization valuation at more than 3 billion dollars in just 12 months.