Bitmama, an African blockchain startup, has closed a $350,000 pre-Seed round, led by Flori Ventures, with participation from Nigeria-based investment fund Emergence Capital, Fedha Capital, and a host of VCs and angel investors.
The Bitmama pre-seed round will be used to grow its operational presence, expand its team, and penetrate new markets across the continent, while rapidly scaling crypto and payment solutions in Africa.
Bitmama provides a secured blockchain infrastructure that allows users across Africa to perform cryptocurrency transactions.
With users across Nigeria and Ghana, Bitmama has recorded more than $6 million in transaction volume this year, alone. Users on the platform are able to transact Bitcoin, Ethereum, Celo, and six other cryptocurrencies currently listed, while enjoying seamless, secure, reliable, and transparent transaction processes.
Simultaneously, Bitmama’s flagship payment solution, Changera, enables cross-border payment and remittance for businesses and individuals in Africa and globally.
Customers are broadly pan-African/global users who are currently seeking the most efficient means of making payments cross-border. While Africa is regarded as one of the biggest markets in the global cryptocurrency and payment space, its growth is still a fraction compared to the global volume.
The usual alternative for cryptocurrencies traders and businesses accepting crypto as payments is peer-2-peer and OTCs which could prove dangerous and unsafe due to scam proliferation. Bitmama’s rigorous 3-tier verification process is designed to ensure the safety of honest traders in the system and the inhibition of ingenuine users.
Speaking on the pre-Seed round, Ruth Iselema, the founder & CEO of Bitmama Inc. said “The rate of crypto adoption in Africa has been surprisingly fast but anticipated. All over Africa, more than 3 million users now perform crypto transactions on the day-to-day.
“The continent is also home to Nigeria, the second largest crypto market globally, which records an average of over $3 million in daily trading volume.
“We believe the continent’s crypto landscape will experience massive growth in user base and trading volumes in the next couple of years and we are aiming to build an efficient blockchain infrastructure that is firm and flexible enough to help users navigate complexities and facilitate secure cryptocurrency transactions across the continent.
“Most importantly, we are thrilled to have strong financial backers with global credibility and track records, who are keen on supporting our mission to ensure crypto and cross-border transactions across Africa are done efficiently and safely for users and businesses.”
Expressing enthusiasm on the investment, Maria Alegre, General Partner and Co-founder of Flori Ventures said “we’ve partnered with Bitmama to help them in their growth journey. We are particularly interested in projects that explore universal basic income, community commerce, community currencies, natural-capital-backed currencies, accessible Defi primitives, earnings platforms, peer-to-peer marketplaces”.
Akin Asalu, COO of Bitmama, believes that challenges precede the best of solutions. “History has proven that complications are paramount to breaking new grounds. Although the blockchain space in Africa is a complex landscape to navigate in terms of regulation and adoption, we can’t ignore the numerous use cases that exist.
“And as new innovations like 5G push through the continent, even the most remote areas will be willing to explore the diverse opportunities presented by emerging technologies such as blockchain and the possibilities of cryptocurrencies. Bitmama is positioned to drive the awareness and adoption of crypto in Africa. We have distributed a remote team across the continent and we plan to build more blockchain-powered solutions to advance our mission.”
Ibukun Adeleke, Director at Emergence Capital also commented on the raise, “We are proud to partner with Bitmama and are impressed with the significant traction the business has made and continues to make across its key performance parameters including transaction volume & value, number of users, local and international strategic partnerships.
“We are inspired by the team’s resolve to make financial services more decentralised and accessible for people and companies in Africa with an overarching mission to solve our problems on the continent using blockchain.
“We are excited about what is to come! Leveraging our experience, partners, and relationships, we look forward to working closely with Ruth, Akin, and the Bitmama team on their expansion drive across their key target emerging markets and help realize its overall corporate aspirations.”