Unicorn Growth Capital, an Africa-focused venture fund investing at the intersection of traditional finance (TradFi) and decentralized finance (DeFi), and EchoVC, a technology-focused, early-stage venture capital firm for underrepresented founders and underserved markets, have joined the Celo Foundation to support growth of Web3 projects across Africa through newly dedicated Celo ecosystem investment funds.
The Celo Foundation, a U.S.-based non-profit organization that supports the growth and development of the carbon-negative, mobile-first, layer-1 Celo platform, continues to strengthen its presence in Africa, nurturing a robust ecosystem of cutting-edge founders and builders providing increased access to financial tools and expanding Web3 adoption through real-world use cases in Kenya, Uganda, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana, and beyond.
Aliu Musa, Africa Ecosystem Lead, Celo Foundation: ”Over 50 companies in Africa have raised venture rounds in the Celo ecosystem this past year alone. Africa is one of the fastest growing crypto markets in the world, totaling over $100 billion in value, with communities in Kenya, Nigeria, and elsewhere beginning to use Web3 tools. Our ecosystem of founders and builders are transforming people’s relationship to financial products, helping them attain meaningful wealth to improve their lives.”
Barbara Iyayi, Founding Partner and CEO, Unicorn Growth Capital: ”As we transform the future of finance, Unicorn Growth Capital is excited to have Celo as an important partner for our portfolio companies to leverage their mobile-driven platform and growing DeFi ecosystem.”
Flori Ventures, a Web3 impact fund and Celo Foundation partner, has also contributed investments in Celo’s Africa ecosystem, including Nigerian blockchain payments startup Bitmama, led by founder and CEO Ruth Iselema, who recently closed a $2 million pre-seed round.
The Celo Africa Web3 Fund, which launched in early August, aims to help scale African startup projects building on Celo in support of blockchain technology and Web3 adoption. The Fund provides shortlisted candidates equity, mentorship, resources, and marketing support through workshops in the region.
Additionally, Alliance for Prosperity member, Nigeria-based Canza Finance, which aims to empower underserved Sub-Saharan Africa SMEs with access to financial services, received the Most Innovative Product award at the Celo x Huobi Hackathon, following a $3.27 million seed funding raise by Canza’s founders Pascal Ntsama and Oyedeji Oluwole.