Mara, a pan-African crypto exchange platform, has secured a $23 million investment to build an African cryptocurrency exchange.

The seed round came in equity and token sale from several investors. They include Coinbase Ventures, Alameda Research (FTX), Distributed Global, TQ Ventures, DIGITAL, Nexo, Huobi Ventures, Day One Ventures, Infinite Capital, DAO Jones and nearly 100 other crypto investors, and angels including Amit Bhatia and Hamad Alhoimaizi.

Additionally, the startup has disclosed a partnership with the Central African Republic, which just passed a bill legalizing Bitcoin as legal tender. As part of this partnership, Mara will become the official crypto partner of the Central African Republic and an adviser to the president on crypto strategy and planning.

Founded in 2021 by Chi Nnadi, Dearg OBartuin, and Lucas Llinás Múnera, the Lagos, Nigeria, and Nairobi, Kenya-based company offers a suite of crypto products including a cryptocurrency exchange, token collateralized lending, and an NFT marketplace.

Its suite of products included Mara Wallet, Pro-Exchange and Mara Chain. Mara will initially launch in Kenya, Nigeria, and surrounding regions. The Mara Wallet app will be available in the App Store and Google Play stores. Pre-registered users will join a queue to enable early access on a first-come, first-served basis.

“Mara’s mission is to facilitate a more equitable distribution of capital by providing a decentralized alternative that spans across tribes, class, cultures, and countries,” said Chi Nnadi, CEO of Mara. “Our goal is to close the gap in opportunities for Sub-Saharan individuals and establish a financial infrastructure that they can build their lives upon.”

“We are pleased to partner with MARA as it embarks on building a digital financial system for Sub-Saharan Africa,” says Schuster Tanger, co-founder of TQ Ventures, one of the investors, in a statement. “With the right resources, this region has potential for mass adoption of cryptocurrency. To that end, the local knowledge and specialized skills of the MARA team is quite promising.”

Musa Suleiman
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