Celo announces new Web3 fund for African startups adopting crypto strategies
13-07-2022 10:08:31 | by: Pie Kamau | hits: 5498 | Tags:

With the goal of supporting an inclusive financial system that contributes to prosperity for all, mobile-first blockchain ecosystem Celo has launched a new programme to support African startups across payments, remittances, virtual assets, savings, and related financial services.

The Celo Africa Web3 Fund will help provide financial investments through its VC partners and technical assistance through the Celo Developer Guild and technical partners such as Tatum and Ape Unit. This will enable Web2 founders across Africa to adopt a strategy and scale their businesses to achieve deeper financial inclusion, lower transaction costs and more affordable credit.

''Africa’s crypto landscape is rapidly evolving and there are a host of opportunities for traditional startup businesses to respond to these developments,'' says Daniel Kimotho, Celo’s Ecosystem Lead for Kenya. ''Blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies can radically transform community access to financial products and services, driving wealth and inclusion by creating entry points for people to hold and own digital assets.''

Together with multiple partners including Unicorn Growth Capital, Ape Unit, Echo VC, Uncovered Fund and Flori Ventures, Celo has launched an open call for Web2 founders from payments, remittances, crypto, savings, lending and related financial services sectors with an interest in crypto to apply for the Celo Africa Web3 Fund by 15 July. Celo and its partners pledge to support shortlisted candidates to facilitate their transition to Web3.

''Pan-African startups and businesses regularly meet scaling challenges navigating disparate regional currencies, expensive payment and collection infrastructure, and capital controls in some markets. Decentralized finance (DeFi) is a viable solution, which is where Celo’s ecosystem comes in,'' explains Kimotho.

Up to 50 successful applicants in each key country will secure access to equity investors, venture capital funding, technical and business mentorship, marketing support, and Decentralized Exchange Listing opportunities. Each successful startup will also be considered to join Celo’s Alliance for Prosperity, which allows for collaborations across the technology stack, resulting in integrated solutions that better serve the needs of users around the world.

The Celo Africa Web3 Fund will include an in-person workshop across five African countries, led by the Celo ecosystem’s Africa team. The first in-country workshop will kick off in Nairobi on the 26th July, together with venture capital and tech partners Unicorn Growth Capital, Ape Unit, Echo VC, Uncovered Fund, Dream VC and Flori Ventures. Additional workshops will follow in Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa between July and November 2022.

The Celo Africa Web3 Fund builds on Celo’s active presence in several African countries where Celo is engaged with local developer communities, and where it has been running pioneering pilots in the areas of microwork, micropayments and DeFi lending, together with international and local partners such as Mercy Corps Ventures, Cinch and Kotani Pay. The deadline for applications to the Kenya workshop is July 15, 2022. Applications can be made here.