Yellow Card has raised $1.5 million in a seed round. The Nigerian crypto startup said it will use the money to expand its operations in Africa while making it easier for people on the continent to buy and sell digital assets.
Investors in the new round include Polychain, venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, and Celo, through the Celo Ecosystem Fund.
In a statement, Yellow Card said it intends to “become the dominant exchange across the continent.” The company recently expanded into South Africa and Botswana and added 30,000 new vendors.
“Along with the fundraise, Yellow Card is announcing that it will be launching its services in Kenya and Cameroon starting September 1,” said the firm.
Kenya is already big on crypto traffic, ranking third, behind South Africa, in peer-to-peer bitcoin (BTC) transactions. Nigeria’s trade volume of $34.4 million in the second quarter of 2020 makes it Africa’s most active country in the digital asset space.
Founded in 2016 by Chris Maurice and Justin Poiroux on a financial inclusion pitch, Yellow Card boasts over 35 thousand merchants in Nigeria. The company says it has handled more than $35 million in transactions in the country. It offers users multiple payment options including cash, credit card, and bank transfer to via cryptocurrency.
In its statement, the firm also announced that Jason Marshall, former senior director of payment services at Walmart, has joined the team as its chief operating officer.
Yellow Card was initially pitched around developing a Bitcoin gift card but adopted the objective of “basic financial services for all” in 2018 after witnessing the high costs of sending money to Nigeria through the banking system.
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