Africa is experiencing an unprecedented surge in the adoption and development of blockchain technology, driven by its transformative potential to address some of the continent’s unique challenges. While the technology has proven promising, the ecosystem’s growth largely depends on substantial and strategic financial backing. Enter blockchain funding companies – entities propelling the advancement of this technological revolution through monetary support.
In this Cryptopolitan guide, we will explore the top 10 blockchain funding companies in Africa, which are fostering innovation, entrepreneurship, and growth in the region’s blockchain sector through their strategic investments.
The increase in blockchain funding in Africa
Despite the economic challenges and crypto winter, which caused several major players to disappear from the global cryptocurrency scene, the blockchain community in Africa has continued to attract massive investments. This has resulted in a five-fold increase on a yearly basis.
According to the African Blockchain Report 2022, funding for blockchain ventures in Africa increased from $89.6 million in 2021 to $474 million in 2022, which is a nearly 430% growth rate. This makes Africa the only region to record a triple-digit percentage increase in its share of total global blockchain venture dollars raised.
The report states that in the first quarter of 2022, blockchain startups raised $91 million, which represents a significant increase compared to the same quarter in 2021. Specifically, there was a 1,668% year-on-year increase in cash inflow in Q1 2022, as opposed to Q1 2021’s growth of 149%, which is a jump of over 11 times.
According to the report, although Africa has not yet witnessed a large-scale investment in blockchain, it is expected that in two to three years, unicorns might arise from the region’s blockchain and cryptocurrency industry due to increased attention from venture capitalists.
The report further stated that during 2022, the majority of African blockchain venture funding, which accounted for 81%, came from Seychelles and South Africa. Seychelles raised $208 million and South Africa raised $177 million. Additionally, when compared to Asia, Africa’s annual funding growth in the blockchain industry was 759% higher and ranked as the best performer.
Along with that, in 2022, Africa was the only region where the median deal size showed an increase, growing by 58% and reaching $1.5 million, which is the median amount of money received by businesses per closed deal.
In mid-2022, Africa had made significant progress in venture capitalist funding, which was further highlighted in August 2022 by Finbold’s report on the success of African blockchain companies in the first half of the year. These companies had received a funding of $304 million, almost three times more than what they received in the entire 2021.
Top African Blockchain funding companies
The cryptocurrency sector in Africa has been expanding and changing the way transactions are conducted. This growth has led to the creation of several crypto projects such as Defi, Solana, and Chainpet. These projects are designed to improve operations in blockchain systems and generate profits.
Crypto projects, like any other business, need investors to provide funding and keep the project running smoothly. Startups require investors to gain momentum and move forward by securing financial support. This article highlights some of the top crypto investors available for Africans.
Coin Base Ventures
Coinbase Ventures is a subset of Coinbase that funds blockchain and cryptocurrency startups in their early stages. Through June 2022, according to investment data from CB Insights, Coinbase Ventures has contributed to 297 deals and supported 277 new businesses worldwide since its creation in 2018.
Their investments cover a wide range of areas, such as layer one protocols, Web 3 infrastructure, centralized on-ramps, decentralized finance, NFTs, metaverse technologies, developer tooling, and others.
The Baobab Network
The Baobab Network is an accelerator that focuses on supporting African businesses in their early stages. It offers $25k funding and a global platform to help entrepreneurs in Africa grow their businesses.
The Baobab network has invested in 25 startups since 2015. These include Lendha, Good Talent, sidebrief, Mighty Finance, and Opus Analytic.
Digital Currency Group
The Digital Currency Group is a venture capital firm located in Stamford, Connecticut that invests in the digital currency market. The corporation is comprised of five companies, namely Grayscale Investments, CoinDesk, Foundry, and Foundry Genesis, and has backed around 256 companies to date. Their latest investment was in Kwil as part of their Seed VC on September 9, 2022.
Block Ventures is a venture capital firm that invests in areas related to blockchain, such as decentralized applications (dApps) and initial coin offerings (ICOs). They have invested money in several blockchain technology companies at various stages of development, from start-ups to growth-stage companies. Among their investments in Africa are Mazzuma, HouseAfrica, CARMA, Pravica, and Monero, which are all related to cryptocurrencies.
Arbi Khodagholian is the founding partner of Block Ventures and a venture capitalist who focuses solely on investing in the crypto and blockchain technology sectors. He has been investing in blockchain technology startups and creative entrepreneurs who aim to push the limits of what is possible since 2013. Arbi has made six start-up investments since the company’s establishment, including Monero, a decentralized cryptocurrency created by an African.
Pantera Capital is a hedge fund based in America that specializes in investing in cryptocurrencies. It is the world’s largest cryptocurrency hedge fund based on its assets under management. The fund launched its Bitcoin-focused investment fund in the United States in 2013. As of January 2022, the total assets managed by Pantera Capital were worth $5.6 billion.
Pantera Capital has provided funding to VALR.com, an African cryptocurrency exchange, in its latest funding round. CEO Farzam Ehsani has stated that VALR.com has raised $50 million, setting a new record for the most substantial amount raised by an African cryptocurrency company.
CMT Digital is a venture capital firm that specializes in investing in blockchain technology and trading digital assets. It is a subsidiary of the CMT Group. They have invested in 96 companies, including African cryptocurrency companies like Nestcoin, VALR, and Volt Capital.
Launch Africa, a venture capital fund focusing on Africa, has invested millions of dollars in African startups. More than 238 private and institutional investors from over 40 countries have invested over $24 million in the fund’s portfolio companies. Launch Africa claims to have helped over 100 startups, including House Africa.
Azure Ventures Group
Azure Ventures Group is a venture capital fund based in Los Angeles that specializes in investing in and supporting technology-focused startups in their early stages. Founded in 2020, it has created five startups so far, including Ripple and Mara, both of which focus on cryptocurrency projects in Africa.
The growth of the cryptocurrency industry has resulted in numerous investment opportunities for projects. Seeking investment can help businesses overcome financial hurdles that impede growth and development. Additionally, investors can offer valuable knowledge and expertise that contributes to the long-term success of the project. They can also assist in arranging meetings for practicing sales pitches.
Choosing the right investors for your startup is crucial, whether you decide to use crowdfunding or private investment. Therefore, it is important to make a wise choice.
Why are blockchain funding companies interested in Africa?
The adoption rate of Bitcoin in Africa is growing faster than anywhere else in the world. This presents an opportunity for the region to access a rapidly growing industry that could help reduce unemployment. Despite being overlooked in discussions about the Bitcoin industry, Africa is seeing significant growth and potential in this area.
Blockchain companies need to invest in building a skilled workforce in Africa to cater to the growing demand for their products on the continent in the coming years. This will help these companies expand effectively and capture the attention of the rising African consumer base.
Regulations have posed a significant obstacle for crypto-based projects in Africa, and many investors have adopted a cautious approach toward the industry. This is in addition to concerns around interest and adoption.
The Security and Exchanges Commission in Nigeria has issued new rules on the issuance, exchange, and custody of digital assets. This is good news for Nigerian crypto users, especially as the Central Bank of Nigeria previously advised licensed companies to avoid dealing with cryptocurrency businesses. Regulators in South Africa have suggested that they may release official guidelines regarding cryptocurrencies in 2023. It’s possible that the growing adoption of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) in countries such as Ghana and Nigeria could lead to more favorable regulation.
Although interest and adoption of cryptocurrency are on the rise, Africa currently accounts for less than 1% of the total global investment in blockchain startups. However, with increasing interest, it is likely that more money will be invested in cryptocurrency projects on the continent.
Through this glimpse into the top 10 blockchain funding companies in Africa, it’s clear that funding is a critical component driving the continent’s blockchain revolution. By nurturing the growth of blockchain startups, they are not only enabling technological development, but also fostering innovation, entrepreneurship, and job creation, contributing to the broader socio-economic development of the continent. With continued support from these funding firms, along with the right regulatory support and an environment conducive to innovation, the future of blockchain technology in Africa is promising indeed.
Effective regulation will be a determining factor in the future trajectory of blockchain technology in Africa. Policymakers have a critical role in establishing a regulatory framework that fosters innovation while ensuring the technology is used ethically and responsibly. The right regulations can enhance investor confidence, foster a healthy competitive environment, and ensure consumer protection.
As Africa continues to embrace blockchain, these funding companies will undoubtedly remain pivotal to the narrative, bolstering the development and deployment of this game-changing technology.
What is a blockchain funding company?
A blockchain funding company provides financial support to startups and projects in the blockchain industry, which can be through direct investments, seed funding, venture capital, or other funding mechanisms.
Why is funding important for blockchain startups in Africa?
Funding provides the necessary capital for blockchain startups in Africa to develop their technologies, grow their businesses, and potentially overcome the various operational and infrastructural challenges present in the region.
How do blockchain funding companies decide which projects to fund?
Blockchain funding companies typically assess projects based on their potential for success, the problem they aim to solve, their team’s competence, their business model, and the potential return on investment.
What types of blockchain projects are funded in Africa?
Blockchain projects funded in Africa span various sectors including fintech, agriculture, supply chain management, healthcare, and education, among others.
How does blockchain funding contribute to the growth of the African economy?
Blockchain funding can stimulate economic growth in Africa by supporting startups that create jobs, foster technological innovation, improve efficiency in various sectors, and potentially boost regional and international trade.
What are the challenges for blockchain funding in Africa?
Challenges for blockchain funding in Africa include regulatory uncertainty, limited local investor knowledge about blockchain, infrastructural limitations, and the high-risk nature of investing in emerging technologies.
How can a blockchain startup in Africa attract funding?
A blockchain startup can attract funding by having a clear and feasible business plan, demonstrating the potential for growth and return on investment, assembling a competent team, and effectively networking with potential investors.
What role do government policies play in blockchain funding in Africa?
Government policies can significantly impact blockchain funding in Africa. Supportive regulations can attract more funding, while restrictive or unclear policies may deter potential investors.
Can international funding companies invest in African blockchain startups?
Yes, international funding companies can invest in African blockchain startups, subject to compliance with international and local laws and regulations governing such investments.
What is the future of blockchain funding in Africa?
Given the growing interest in blockchain technology in Africa and its potential to address some of the continent's challenges, the future of blockchain funding in the region looks promising, though much will depend on regulatory developments and market dynamics.
Our content is derived from a thorough research, yet we acknowledge the potential for deserving businesses to be overlooked. If you’re a business owner or a reader who believes a valuable business is missing from our list, write to us at email@example.com.