African crypto exchange raises $1.5M from Andreessen Horowitz and others

Showing continued digital asset growth in Africa, Nigeria-based crypto exchange, Yellow Card, has secured over $1 million in investments from a number of players in the crypto industry, including venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. 

“Yellow Card has raised $1.5 million from investors to help further our expansion and solidify ourselves as the #1 place to buy and sell Bitcoin in Africa,” Chris Maurice, the exchange’s CEO, told Cointelegraph. 

Noting the seed round as finished, Maurice added:

“We raised 1.5 million from Andreessen Horowitz, Polychain, Celo and others. The goal of the raise is to help us grow and expand out of Nigeria, South Africa and Botswana where we are currently most dominant.”

Crypto usage has been on the rise across Africa, Maurice detailed in a previous interview, noting that many people across the region know of Bitcoin — similar to the asset’s presence in the United States. Much of the continent’s crypto volume appears via over-the-counter, or OTC, transactions, although Yellow Card also holds as an option.

“We’re excited about the ways in which crypto can help modernize Africa’s financial infrastructure and better serve its peoples,” Polychain Capital CEO, Olaf Carlson-Wee, said in a comment provided by Yellow Card. “Yellow Card’s mobile-first, cryptocurrency-enabled suite of products allows users to transfer value, store value, or remit value at significantly lower costs and with higher speed and better security than incumbent, legacy services provide,” he added. 

In addition to its capital raise, Yellow Card has made the decision to expand availability to Kenya and Cameroon, Maurice detailed, describing a use case for Bitcoin in those regions based on their economic atmospheres and national currency instabilities. The exchange opens availability for residents of Kenya and Cameroon on Sept. 1.  

Jason Marshall, a former senior director of payment services at Walmart, has also joined Yellow Card as its chief product officer, or CPO, summing up a number of developments for the exchange. 

In the midst of persisting global concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, crypto has taken its place in the spotlight as a growing alternative asset class.