Cameroon’s Ejara Closes $2M Seed Round, New Zealand’s Easy Crypto Raises $12M

Crypto fundraising continues strong in Q4 from the Pacific Islands to Central Africa, crypto-based companies are raising capital.

article-image

Nelly Chatue-Diop of Ejara

share

key takeaways

  • Cameroon-based financial services platform Ejara has raised a seed round of $2 million led by Coinshares Ventures and Anthemis Group to help African people protect their money
  • Easy Crypto’s funding will be used to expand into new customer markets in Southeast Asia and other Southern Hemisphere countries that have a need for products and services, she added. Janine Grainger, co-founder and CEO of the company told Blockworks

Cameroon-based Ejara raises $2M 

Cameroon Financial services platform Ejara has raised a seed round of $2 million led by Coinshares Ventures and Anthemis Group, the company said Thursday. 

Other investors include Mercy Corps Ventures, Lateral Capital, LoftyInc Capital Management and NetX Fund, and a group of angel investors including CEO of Ledger Pascal Gauthier, Blockworks Co-founder Jason Yanowitz, and AngelList’s Socially Financed Fund.

“By 2030, Africa will represent one of the world’s largest economic regions, and despite having nearly 25% of the continent’s population, Francophone African startups have attracted less than 1% of the venture capital in the African tech scene,” Meltem Demirors, chief strategy officer at CoinShares said in a statement. 

The company was founded in 2020 and is based in Francophone-Africa, specifically Cameroon, and tailors its platform for African markets. The name “Ejara” derives from Bambara dialect and means “lion,” which coincides with their mission to put the power in people’s hands, the company said. 

The funding will be used toward expansion and growth strategies, Nelly Chatue-Diop, founder of Ejara said to Blockworks in an interview. Since its launch, the platform has grown 25% month over month for its user base and increased transaction volume by 35% during the same period, Chatue-Diop added. 

“We want to expand as quickly as possible,” Chatue-Diop said. “We started with crypto but aim to add stocks and fractionalized stocks, commodities and bonds and US foreign ones. So we can grow quickly, we need more tech, growth and focus on support,” she said. 

Ejara started out in Cameroon, but has diversified across the Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Mali, Guinea, and Senegal as well as the Francophone diaspora in Europe & North America through its partnership with Moonpay, the company said. 

The mission is all about protecting the African people’s money, Chatue-Diop said. 

“It’s about protecting their wealth, diversifying their savings and growing their wealth. Historically, when you have savings in Africa, where do you invest? Banks give you 1% maybe, but you’re at the mercy of them closing and going away with your money,” she added. 

A lot of Africans invest in real estate as a way to store their wealth, but when someone needs to abandon their homes and fly quickly out of their zone, they can’t take their real estate with them, Chatue-Diop noted. But, with platforms like Ejara, people can take their bitcoin and digital assets anywhere, she said. 

“We are at the mercy of inflation, but diversifying into bitcoin and other assets will protect people against the debasement of their currency,” Chatue-Diop said. 

Easy Crypto raises $12M to expand into Southern Hemisphere

New Zealand-based Easy Crypto closed its $12 million Series A round led by Nuance Connected Capital, the company announced Wednesday.

The lead investor in this round is sovereign-backed, meaning that the New Zealand government supports and funds Nuance Connected Capital and in turn, is indirectly supporting the crypto ecosystem, Janine Grainger, co-founder and CEO of Easy Crypto said in an interview with Blockworks. This was the company’s first fundraise and prior to this Series A, Easy Crypto was fully bootstrapped, she added.

The round was oversubscribed by fifty percent and includes investment from others, including a pension provider Pathfinder and Indonesia-based GDP Venture. Additionally, US-based Hutt Capital, Icehouse Ventures, Even Capital and Seven Peaks Ventures also participated in the round.

Easy Crypto co-founders Janine and Alan Grainger

Easy Crypto is a retail platform founded three years ago by siblings Janine and Alan Grainger. The platform provides customers the ability to trade over 150 cryptocurrencies and has recorded over $750 million in sales and has multiplied its users over five times in the past year, the company said. 

Currently, it is available in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Brazil, Grainger said. But the funding will be used to expand into new customer markets in Southeast Asia and other Southern Hemisphere countries that have a need for products and services, she added.

Tags

Upcoming Events

Hilton Metropole | 225 Edgware Rd, London

Mon - Wed, March 18 - 20, 2024

Crypto’s premier institutional conference returns to London in March 2024. The DAS: London Experience: Attend expert-led panel discussions and fireside chats Hear the latest developments regarding the crypto and digital asset regulatory environment directly from policymakers and experts.

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Research report - cover graphics (1).jpg

Research

In this report, we dive into crypto private market data to gather insights on where the future of the industry is headed. Despite a notable downturn in private raises, capital continues to infuse promising projects that aim to transform payments, banking, consumer experiences, community, and more, with 2023 being the fourth-largest year for crypto venture capital.

article-image

BUZZ holds shares of Coinbase, Robinhood and MicroStrategy

article-image

Opinion: Even though I didn’t pay for my “Diamond Hands” burger with BTC, don’t let that fool you into thinking that crypto’s development is futile

article-image

The results mark “a major positive inflection point,” one analyst says, as the exchange carries net income momentum into a crypto rally

article-image

While the slate of 10 US spot bitcoin funds have tallied $4.6 billion of net inflows thus far, half of the field is lagging the leaders

article-image

Trading volumes totalled $154 billion in Q4, including $125 billion in institutional volume

article-image

DeFi on Bitcoin is all the rage right now and Stacks is positioned to benefit