• Cardano’s Emurgo enters the African market by providing financial grants to 100 local startups

  • A $100 million pre-seed program launched by Emurgo Ptd Ltd, a founding entity of the Cardano blockchain, is set to benefit 100 African blockchain startups with a market capitalization of less than $20 million.

    According to a Tuesday announcement, the company unveiled “Emurgo Africa,” a program that will focus on bolstering the financial, educational, and technical muscle of rapidly growing start-ups in various African countries. In the pilot phase, Kenya, Nigeria, Egypt, and South Africa were chosen as beneficiaries before the program is expanded to other African countries.

    The program’s priority will be to create a sustainable growth model for African startups that balances commercial viability and social impact. Second, it will build a strong financial infrastructure on Cardano that will drive innovation and connect traditional finance with blockchain-based decentralized finance (DeFi). Finally, it will advocate for increased business collaboration between African and Asian industries.

    Aside from investing in Blockchain growth sectors, the program aims to accelerate other technologies such as AI, healthcare, agritech, edutech, fintech, and the metaverse.

    EMURGO Africa has already formed a strategic alliance with a Kenya-based blockchain studio and Everest Ventures Group (EVG), a leading Asian blockchain venture studio, to jointly launch Adaverse, an African Cardano-focused acceleration program.

    Ken Kodama, CEO of EMURGO, acknowledged the move and stated:

    “Through EMURGO Africa, we are especially committed to delivering financial and educational empowerment opportunities on the continent by providing the capital and strategic partnerships required for local startups to scale rapidly and bring new Cardano solutions.” Our collaboration with Adanian Labs and Everest Ventures provides us with an excellent framework for launching in Africa.”

    With venture capital investments in Africa expected to increase exponentially by 2021 as well-known online retailers such as Jumia dominate the market, global blockchain companies are taking notice and investing massive sums in African startups.

    The Kraken exchange recently announced a $150,000 Bitcoin donation to promote black crypto entrepreneurship. Last month, Bitmex announced a grant to the South African-based NGO Exonumia to aid in the translation of Bitcoin content into local languages.

    With the global blockchain market expected to grow from $3.67 billion in 2020 to $449.6 billion by 2028, EMURGO believes Africa will account for 30% of this growth by 2028, putting its market share at $134.9 billion, up from $1.1 billion now.

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