Africa’s portal to the crypto economy, Mara, has raised $23 million in a recent funding round, giving them the platform to build a pan-African cryptocurrency exchange. The company has a vision of providing a crypto service that can serve all Africans, in a continent that has a growing interest in crypto.
What Will Mara Provide?
The company raised the money from a variety of major fintech investment companies, including Coinbase Ventures, Alameda Research (FTX), Distributed Global, TQ Ventures, DIGITAL, Nexo, Huobi Ventures, Day One Ventures, Infinite Capital, DAO Jones (investment decentralized autonomous organization backed by Mike Shinoda, Steve Aoki and Disclosure), as well as nearly 100 independent crypto investors and angels.
Mara is based out of Nigeria and Kenya, both with thriving crypto economies. To accompany the great news, the exchange announced a partnership with the Central African Republic, which is a bitcoin-friendly nation, recently passing a bill making bitcoin legal tender. The collaboration will make the landlocked African nation an official crypto partner and Mara will provide advice to the president on crypto strategy and planning
Has Mara Come At The Right Time?
There is economic instability across the region of Sub-Saharan Africa, resulting in the devaluation of currencies. This has led to a growing interest in moving away from centralized currencies and opened the door to cryptocurrency for many curious Africans looking for a financial solution.
The integration of Mara will be the real challenge for the company. The company aims to promote its cutting-edge technology to the young, tech-savvy part of the population.
The vast majority of global exchanges are banned on the continent, opening up a gap in the market and a great opportunity for Mara to bring the African crypto community together.
The CEO of Mara, Chi Nnandi, had this to say in an email to VentureBeat “The inefficiencies inherent to the old 20th [century] centralized Sub-Saharan African financial systems has presented an obstacle to the proper development of Sub-Saharan individuals and economies for decades,” and that “A decentralized alternative (which will include but not be limited to finance, art, ownership, infrastructure, and business as a whole) will give Sub-Saharan Africans an alternative to these tired systems. Through this digital financial system — through this freedom — the region will find itself in a much stronger competitive position before other parts of the world.”