AFRICA – Yellow Card, the Pan-African cryptocurrency exchange, has announced a US$15 million Series A, to expand its personnel, develop new products, and expand into more African countries.
The round, which is the largest ever by an African cryptocurrency exchange, was led by Valar Ventures, Third Prime, and Castle Island Ventures with participation from Square, Inc., Blockchain.com Ventures, Coinbase Ventures, Polychain Capital, BlockFi, Fabric Ventures, Raba Partnership, MoonPay, GreenHouse Capital, and more.
Third Prime was appointed to the crypto company’s board of directors as a result of the latest investment.
“Our mission has always been to make cryptocurrency accessible anywhere and everywhere across the African continent. Now, we have the backing to make that a reality, alongside an amazing team of investors who share our vision,” Chris Maurice, co-founder and CEO of Yellow Card, said.
Since launching in Nigeria in 2018, the U.S. and Africa-based Yellow Card team has sought to make cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and USDT Stablecoin accessible to anyone in Africa.
The company now has the largest geographical footprint on the continent, with a presence in 12 countries, 110 employees across 16 countries, and a nearly 30x increase in users across Africa since the start of the pandemic.
“Africa is poised to benefit tremendously from cryptocurrency’s potential to transform financial services,” Valar Ventures’ James Fitzgerald said.
“We believe in Yellow Card’s vision of a Pan-African cryptocurrency platform. What cemented the deal is their multi-national team, which we believe has the local knowledge, technical expertise, and unequivocal passion to address the basic financial services needs of the continent.”
This news comes on the back of a new report from Chainalysis, which listed six African nations in the top 20 on the Global Crypto Adoption Index. Yellow Card wants everyone to know that Africa should be seen as a prominent region for crypto adoption.
“This raise is a validation that Africa has a major place in the crypto industry,” said Yellow Card’s Chief Bitcoin Officer, Munachi Ogueke.
“With the access that Yellow Card brings, powered by this raise, we can now let crypto proliferate and be a reliable enabler for people across the continent.”
Jack Dorsey, whose company Square also invested in this round, has long been a proponent of bitcoin, with his companies Twitter and Square actively incorporating the cryptocurrency into their platforms. On September 23, Twitter revealed that users can now tip their favorite creators with bitcoin.
In 2019, Dorsey traveled to a few African countries, where he learnt more about the continent’s burgeoning digital environment. “Africa will define the future (especially the bitcoin one!)” he tweeted at the end of his African visit.
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