Ejara, a Cameroonian fintech company that offers fractional shares, cryptocurrency, and other affordable investment opportunities to Francophone Africa through decentralized services, has raised $8 million in Series A funding.
The two-year-old fintech startup has raised $10 million since its founding, thanks to a $2 million seed investment in October 2021.
The new investment was co-led by a London-based venture capital firm, Anthemis which is a follow-on investor and crypto-focused fund, Dragonfly Capital.
Other participating VC firms included Mercy Corps Ventures, Coinshares Ventures and Lateral Capital, Circle Ventures, Moonstake, Emurgo, Hashkey Group and BPI France. Jason Yanowitz, and the co-founder of Blockwoks.
As the startup offers users the choice of non-custodial wallets so they can own and store their keys rather than only providing custodial wallets to users, Ejara appears to be continuing to grow and attract new investors during this moment of uncertainty after the FTX collapse.
With this new funding, Ejara hopes to reach more customers in Francophone Africa with its services and expand cryptocurrency activity in the region.
Ejara, founded in 2020, is on a mission to democratise access to investment and savings products across the region using blockchain technology.
The fintech provides Francophone Africa users easy access to financial services, connecting their mobile money accounts, investment offers and crypto activities. Users can also make cross-border transactions via stablecoins on the platform. All these product offerings can be accessed through its app, defying the traditional financial institution ways.
Regarding its expansion, the company has developed over the past 14 months. Its services have been extended to Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, and Senegal. In the nine Francophone African countries, it presently has more than 70,000 members, according to Techcrunch.
Additionally, since last October, the company has experienced a tremendous 10x increase in revenue and a 15% increase in monthly transaction volume, despite the significant worldwide crypto market downtrend.
The CEO, Nelly Chateau-Diop, stated that the company anticipates that by the end of the year, platform users will total 100,000.
Other Ejara plans
With its current objectives, Ejara has shown that entrepreneurs in developing markets will likely be the forerunners of many web3 breakthroughs. The platform wants to become more than just a fintech platform. It is also looking to incorporate an eCommerce strategy.
Speaking on Ejara’s potential, Ruth Foxe Blader, partner at Anthemis, said,
Ejara does not intend to limit itself to being a crypto app, but rather to become a one-stop-shop for products tailored to the needs of Africans: a shop where a suite of financial products will be accessible at their fingertips, without the need for any crypto knowledge.
Mia Deng, another investment partner, believes Ejara can help the Francophone region make a web3 financial jump in the following years by imitating the success of China’s Alipay and WeChat Pay with its speed and position.
But that is not all; the fintech is trying to increase the range of services it offers, particularly as the company’s success currently depends on how quickly its target market grasps the complexities of cryptocurrencies, savings, and investments.
According to the report, the fintech is supporting a few non-profit projects that aim to educate the general public, particularly women, girls, and orphans, about cryptocurrencies, savings, investments (it has not yet released its product for fractional investments), and financial literacy while preparing the market for its expansion.
Speaking on this, Nelly Chatue-Diop, the Chief Executive, said,
The initiative we launched for women and orphans and girls is to improve their financial literacy and computer skills. When I think about Ejara, I think about an ecosystem and as a leveler to bring the community together, whether they are in Africa or the diaspora, whether they belong to the elites, or they are in the poorer layers of the community,
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