One-year-old crypto startup, Ejara, has raised a $2 million seed funding to help Francophone Africa lead crypto use and investment services.
The funding round was piloted by Anthemis Group and CoinShares, with LoftyInc Capital, Mercy Corps Ventures, NetX Fund, and Lateral Capital joining them.
Two angel investors — Blockworks’ Jason Yanowitz and Ledger’s Pascal Gauthier — as well as a syndicate social fund, also took part.
Ejara intends to channel the investment into scaling its operations, deploying the items that are on its roadmap, and expanding its engineering team and product.
Speaking on the reason behind their investment, Meltem Demirors of CoinShares said, “We are excited to work with Nelly and the Ejara team to deliver financial services via non-custodial wallets and offers a new level of trust and transparency to Francophone savers and investors.”
She also discussed the possibilities in Francophone Africa as well as the lack of finance in the region, claiming that companies in the region have received less than 1% of venture capital despite the fact that Francophone Africa accounts for about 25% of Africa’s population. She however sees Ejara’s fundraising round as a glimmer of hope, especially in a relatively untouched field like fintech.
Anthemis, through its partner, Ruth Foxe Blader, also gave reasons for their investment in Ejara stating that it concerns itself with how Ejara democratizes wealth generating prospects and educates people in Francophone Africa on crypto assets.
Speaking on her decision to explore the cryptocurrency terrain, Chatue-Diop, CEO, Ejara, said, “The built-in transparency and security of the blockchain combined with the popularity of mobile banking in Africa made it clear to me that a blockchain-based mobile investment platform was the key to expanding financial inclusion. But as all these crypto companies were popping up left and right, I felt very few were speaking to Francophone Africans like myself.”
Ejara was founded by Chatue-Diop and Baptiste Andrieux in 2019, and it is an app for people in Africa and the diaspora to access commodities, investments, cryptocurrency, fractional shares, etc.
It has more than 8,000 users even though it is barely a year old and it caters to them via its partnership with MoonPay, a crypto payment infrastructure company that allows Ejara users to send money to friends and family in Africa.
Ejara’s users do not only cut across Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Mali, and Guinea. They also cut across French-speaking Africans who are in the diaspora (the United States, Europe, and Asia)
It basically caters to customers who use its platform to buy and store cryptocurrency for future plans, and business owners who carry out transactions regularly.
Ejara hopes to enable Francophone Africans to invest as little as $9 (5,000 CFA) in cryptocurrency through its platform by leveling the playing field.
Ejara strongly believes in the importance of security, privacy, and ownership. That is why it is giving its users non-custodial wallets to enable them securely trade and store their crypto investments.
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