Bitmama, a blockchain startup primarily based in Nigeria, announced that it has closed its pre-seed funding spherical at $2 million after it just lately added $1.65 million to the $350,000 that it raised in October final yr.
Africa-focused enterprise capital companies Unicorn Progress Capital and Launch Africa led the funding in Bitmama. Different companies that additionally participated within the funding spherical embody present and new buyers like Adaverse, Flori Ventures, Tekedia Capital, GreenHouse Capital, ODBA, Five35 Ventures, Chrysalis Capital, Enrich Africa, Thrive Africa, Angellist Ventures, in addition to angel buyers, akin to Rene Reinsberg, Marek Olszewski, and Honey Ogundeyi.
Bitmama, which has constructed a distributed distant workforce throughout Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya, mentioned it’s working to democratize Africa’s extremely fragmented fee system by leveraging blockchain-based options.
Ruth Iselema, Bitmama CEO, based the Africa-focused crypto funds startup in 2019. The Nigeria-based firm started as a WhatsApp group the place members discovered about cryptocurrency, particularly Bitcoin, and made transactions.
Bitmama, subsequently, developed a crypto alternate platform and allowed these customers to entry digital property formally and discover different use instances, like shopping for, promoting, and swapping crypto, and peer-to-peer transactions.
Extra just lately, the agency launched Changera, a social fee resolution that permits clients to make use of stablecoins to facilitate remittances and worldwide funds on Netflix and Amazon through digital playing cards.
Iselema additional talked concerning the growth: “We began Bitmama to make it straightforward for anybody throughout the African continent to purchase and promote cryptocurrency. However as time handed, we noticed a few use instances we may make use of this expertise to resolve. Many individuals needed to make transactions asides from shopping for and promoting of crypto, so we constructed stuff that might additionally allow them to purchase native and worldwide airtime and knowledge. Then, resulting from native financial institution card limitations of $20 month-to-month spend, we offered digital greenback playing cards for Nigerians to make worldwide purchases.”
Crypto Thriving Underneath Stress
The crypto increase has remained persistent in Nigeria regardless of the current market crash. Early final month, a brand new research recognized Nigeria because the nation most thinking about crypto for the reason that market began to crash this April.
In April, Nigerian fintech startup Afriex closed a $10 million Sequence A spherical for a $60 million valuation. And lots of extra associated crypto companies have continued to lift funding rounds.
Early final yr, Nigeria’s regulators tried to crack down on cryptocurrency, however a number of months later such efforts did not work. The nation is a main instance of how native customers flip to crypto to deal with a struggling economic system regardless of the prohibitive stance of the state.
The devaluation of the native forex has inspired individuals to begin saving in crypto property like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Many younger Nigerians view Bitcoin and main cryptocurrencies as a technique to make some cash as the normal economic system lags amid financial disaster and inflation.
Numerous individuals are making the most of the decentralized finance business, with many embracing totally different yield farming applications.
The largest think about crypto’s recognition within the nation has been the extreme drive and enterprise aptitude of the Nigerian youth.
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