AFRICA – Pan-African digital currency trading platform Yellow Card has announced the completion of its US$40 million Series B investment round, headed by Polychain Capital.
Other investors that took part in the round include Valar Ventures, Third Prime, Sozo Ventures, Castle Island Ventures, Fabric Ventures, DG Daiwa Ventures, and The Raba Partnership.
The startup plans to utilise the capital to continue its expansion throughout the continent, create new products, establish key alliances across Africa, and drive business development, according to a statement released by the company.
“For the past three years, our team has worked tirelessly to make this technology accessible to anyone and create a world-class product,” Chris Maurice, CEO and co-founder of Yellow Card, said.
“This fundraise, in the current market environment, not only showcases the resilience of our team but also clearly demonstrates the appetite and necessity for cryptocurrency in Africa.”
The cryptocurrency exchange claims to have reached a few milestones since it closed its Series A investment of US$15 million in August 2021.
These milestones include expanding its footprint on the continent from 12 to 16 nations and providing stock options to every full-time employee.
Yellow Pay, a blockchain-based method of transferring value internationally, was one of its first products, and by March 2022, the company had more than one million paying users.
Will Wolf, a partner at Polychain Capital, commented that the size of the round is indicative of the amount of business confidence displayed by new and current investors in the firm. This is especially true in light of the fact that fundraising activity has been on the decline recently.
“Yellow Card is the best executing team on the continent. We are impressed by the way they seamlessly adjust and adapt to the unique opportunities and demands of the various African markets,” he added.
“We’ve barely touched the surface of what is possible when it comes to crypto in Africa, and we’re excited for what’s to come.”
Founded in 2016 by Chris Maurice and Justin Poiroux, Yellow Card started with an intent to create a Bitcoin gift card. Then, in 2018, Chris and Justin met a man at a Wells Fargo who was trying to send US$200 dollars to his family in Nigeria.
The bank charged him US$90. They teamed up with Munachi Ogueke to undertake the mission of bringing Bitcoin to Africa with the objective of “basic financial services for all” and have since taken Nigeria by storm with 35,000+ merchants and over US$35 million dollars in transactions as of 2020.
Yellow Card launched in Nigeria in 2019 using the original bitcoin gift card model. It eventually shifted to a crypto-based agency banking firm, which could have been great for the man who sent US$200 home.
The distribution of vital financial services to customers through a network of third-party agents, known as agency banking or agent banking, has been critical in the quest for financial inclusion in Nigeria and many other African countries.