African Bitcoin Exchange Yellow Card raised $15 Million in Series A funding, the largest round of financing in Africa.
Yellow Card, a Pan-African Bitcoin exchange, announced yesterday it had raised $15 million in Series A funding. The round was led by Valar Ventures and Third Prime. The round also included Jack Dorsey’s Square Ventures, Coinbase Ventures and Blockchain.com Ventures. This funding helped to fund the exchange’s operations across 12 African countries. Third Prime was elected to the company’s board.
According to the report, James Fitzgerald, a founder partner at Valar Ventures, stated that many African countries have adopted mobile phones without ever having landlines distributed at scale. Many African countries also adopted mobile payments without ever having credit or debit cards distributed at scale. We see similar opportunities for crypto. It can allow Africans to leapfrog a whole generation of financial service technology.
After Chris Maurice, the co-founder of Yellow Card, met a Nigerian man who sent $200 to his mother in Auburn (Alabama) at Wells Fargo. According to the report, the money transmission service charged $90 to send $200 to the Nigerian man’s family. Maurice was interested in Nigeria and its monetary system. He eventually met Munachi Ogueke, Yellow Card’s future chief Bitcoin officer. In June 2019, the company was officially launched in Nigeria.
Jack Dorsey (CEO of Square and Twitter) visited Africa in 2019 to find out more about the technological advances in the region. He tweet after he left: “Sad to be leaving Africa…for now.” Africa will be the future, especially the bitcoin one Dorsey, a long-time bitcoin supporter, launched a tipping integration via Twitter on September 23. Dorsey also took the Yellow Card funding, which is the largest B2C cryptocurrency exchange in Africa.
Ogueke stated that Yellow Card is a diverse product. In different countries, there are slightly different modes of operation. “But the main focus of the project is the same: we are providing access to people who don’t have financial and crypto systems.”
Forbes was informed by the company that their ultimate goal was to create a crypto service that allows Africans send remittances and make payments. This will also protect their wealth from the constant currency devaluation in many African nations. Yellow Card is a platform that provides these services, but many others do. However, they want to be different by offering products and services that do not require a user to understand bitcoin.
Maurice stated that the goal was to transform the way money moves across the continent via crypto. He also said that people want to be able jump from their local economy to the economy of internet.
According to the report Yellow Card stated that they plan to use the $15M raised in funding round to expand their team, launch new products and expand operations into more African countries.