African Crypto Exchange Raises US$15M From Square, Coinbase and More

African Crypto Exchange Raises US$15M From Square, Coinbase and More

by 28 September 2021

Cryptocurrency exchange Yellow Card, which has a pan-African presence, has secured US$15 million in a Series A round. This is the largest ever funding round to have been raised by an African crypto exchange, a statement from the company said.

Valar Ventures, Third Prime, and Castle Island Ventures led the round. Participating investors included Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s Square, Ventures, Coinbase Ventures, Polychain Capital, BlockFi, Fabric Ventures, Raba Partnership, MoonPay, and GreenHouse Capital, amongst others.

Funding will be used to boost hiring and expansion across Africa, the US and Africa-based company noted.

Yellow Card allows users to buy, sell, spend, and store Bitcoin, Ethereum, or USDT stablecoin. The company currently has a presence in 12 African countries including Cameroon, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Botswana, Rwanda, Tanzania, Ghana, Zambia, Uganda, Gabon, and Malawi. Its user base has grown 30x since the pandemic, the African crypto company said in the statement.

Yellow Card's Chief Bitcoin Officer, Munachi Ogueke

Munachi Ogueke

“This raise is a validation that Africa has a major place in the crypto industry.

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,”

Yellow Card’s Chief Bitcoin Officer, Munachi Ogueke said.

African crypto market persists despite regulatory roadblocks

By June 2021, the African crypto market added US$105.6 billion in assets, reflecting a growth in crypto value of 1200% year on year. Bitcoin remains the most popular cryptocurrency in the continent.

However, regulatory challenges persist in the African crypto market, including in two of its biggest fintech hubs Nigeria and Kenya. The Central Bank of Nigeria recently embargoed banks from offering services to crypto providers earlier this year, while Kenya’s central bank issued a warning to investors against crypto in June.

This has not stopped the rise of crypto trading in the country. Africa showed the highest growth in P2P bitcoin trading volume in May this year, recording US$17 million. Both Nigeria and Kenya are also seeing spikes in crypto activity.

Featured image credit: edited from Unsplash

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