NIGERIA – The co-founder of Crypto for Black Economic Empowerment (CBBE), a coalition of 100 Black inventors and founders, Erikan Obotetukudo, has announced the launch of Audacity Fund, a new crypto venture capital fund.
The Audacity Fund is a non-profit organization that to intends to invest in African crypto startups, with a special focus on decentralized finance (DeFi), a name for blockchain-based initiatives that eliminate financial middlemen such as banks, allowing people to lend, borrow, and trade directly with one another.
“As exciting and interesting as blockchain and crypto is today, it’s still one dimensional in terms of the participants,” the fund’s founder, Erikan Obotetukudo, said.
“Fundamentally, crypto is actually being led and driven by emerging markets—El Salvador, Argentina, places like Nigeria and the Philippines.”
The fund’s goal is to put money into the hands of Black and African businesses in these areas.
“Fundamentally, crypto is actually being led and driven by emerging markets.”Erikan Obotetukudo – Founder, Audacity Fund
Erikan stated that many initiatives require assistance with designing appropriate tokenomics, promoting their services, and even having backup to deal with authorities, in addition to additional blockchain developers.
Nigeria, for example, one of the continent’s economic powerhouses, prohibited banks from working with cryptocurrency firms earlier this year, causing issues for Web 3 entrepreneurs.
CoinShares CSO Meltem Demirors, IDEO CoLab Ventures, and Electric Capital, which invests in early-stage FinTech and crypto companies, are among the investors in Audacity.
Though it has a foot in venture money, it also has a foot in decentralized capital. Syndicate Protocol, a framework for creating decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and investment funds, will be used by Audacity.
The aim, according to Obotetukudo, is to turn the fund into a full-fledged DAO, which allows members to vote using tokens on a blockchain to make investment and governance choices.
“Fundamentally, venture capital is changing,” she said. Being on-chain is about removing financial intermediaries and making it “more seamless to move money between being an investor and into an asset.”
Audacity, she argues, may also help to correct a system in which Black and African people generate much of the world’s intellectual property without being compensated.
“A lot of what we consume and sell now is designed with a black or African look in mind,” she explained. The startups Audacity funds may help close the gap by using tokenization, NFTs, and other monetization techniques.
“This fund is just the beginning of saying…the majority of the world that has been overlooked for centuries are going to be the leaders of the new internet,” she added.