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Cryptocurrency exchange Yellow Card secures US$15m funding

Pan-African cryptocurrency exchange, Yellow Card, has announced a US$15m Series A that the company says will be used to ramp up hiring and continue its expansion across the continent.

The round was led by Valar Ventures, Third Prime, and Castle Island Ventures with participation from Square, Inc., Ventures, Coinbase Ventures, Polychain Capital, BlockFi, Fabric Ventures, Raba Partnership, MoonPay, GreenHouse Capital, and more.

Chris Maurice, co-founder and CEO of Yellow Card, expressed the significance of this round of investment for Yellow Card’s future.

“Our mission has always been to make cryptocurrency accessible anywhere and everywhere across the African continent,” Maurice said. “Now, we have the backing to make that a reality, alongside an amazing team of investors who share our vision.”

Since launching in Nigeria in 2018, the US and Africa-based Yellow Card has said its objective is to make cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and USDT Stablecoin accessible to anyone in Africa.

The company has presence in 12 countries, with 110 employees across 16 countries, and claims to have experienced a nearly 30x increase in users across Africa since the start of COVID-19.

“Africa is poised to benefit tremendously from cryptocurrency’s potential to transform financial services,” said Valar Ventures’ James Fitzgerald. “We believe in Yellow Card’s vision of a Pan-African cryptocurrency platform. What cemented the deal is their multi-national team, which we believe has the local knowledge, technical expertise, and unequivocal passion to address the basic financial services needs of the continent.”

This news comes on the back of a new report from Chainalysis, which listed six African nations in the top 20 on the Global Crypto Adoption Index. Yellow Card wants everyone to know that Africa should be seen as a prominent region for crypto adoption.

“This raise is a validation that Africa has a major place in the crypto industry,” said Yellow Card’s Chief Bitcoin Officer, Munachi Ogueke. “With the access that Yellow Card brings, powered by this raise, we can now let crypto proliferate and be a reliable enabler for people across the continent.”

In May 2020 the cryptocurrency exchange announced expansion into Botswana and South Africa.

The company issued a statement explaining it would enable users to buy and sell Bitcoin in these markets, officially going live with support for the Botswana pula (BWP) and South African rand (ZAR).

Part of its statement reads: “We’re now adding new currency support and expanding rapidly outside of West Africa, excited to bring the world of cryptocurrency to both the unbanked and the overcharged.”

Yellow Card added that its entry into Botswana makes it the “first and only exchange” in the region.

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