Yellow Card, an Africa-focused crypto exchange platform, recently announced a capital raise of $15 million from its Series A funding round. The capital raise, which is Yellow Card’s largest, was led by Valar Ventures, Third Prime, and Castle Island Ventures. Square, Coinbase Ventures, and Blockchain.com Ventures also participated in the round.
Making Cryptocurrencies Accessible
According to the exchange platform’s blog post, part of the funds raised will be used to “ramp up hiring and continue its expansion across the continent.” On the other hand, Chris Maurice, founder and CEO of Yellow Card, said he expects the latest capital raise to help the fintech realize its goal of making cryptocurrencies accessible to everyone. Maurice said:
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.
Prior to raising the $15 million, Yellow Card already had “a presence in 12 countries [and] 110 employees across 16 countries.” This footprint is likely one of the reasons why the exchange platform was able to record “a nearly 30X increase in users across Africa since the start of the Pandemic.”
Capital Raise Highlights Investors’ Positive Perception of Africa
The same blog post also quotes James Fitzgerald of Valar Ventures explaining why his organization is betting on Yellow Card. Fitzgerald said:
“Africa is poised to benefit tremendously from cryptocurrency’s potential to transform financial services. 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.”
Although Africa is widely seen as the ideal market for cryptocurrencies, regulatory uncertainty and continuing reports of regulator pushback make the continent a risky investment destination. However, this lack of clarity has not stopped fintech start-ups like Yellow Card from expanding their operations.
In fact, as Munachi Ogueke, Yellow Card’s chief bitcoin officer concludes, the start-up’s $15 million capital raise itself is “a validation that Africa has a major place in the crypto industry.” The statement suggests the fintech start-up is not presently overly concerned with this lack of clarity or certainty. Instead, Yellow Card is more focused on its goal of becoming “a reliable enabler for people across the continent.”
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