African startup Mara recently said it had raised around $23 million in funding from organizations ranging from Coinbase Ventures to individual angel investors such as Amit Bhatia and Hamad Alhoimaizi. Mara is also working with the Central African Republic (CAR) and will serve as an adviser to the country’s president.
Enhancing Africa’s Competitiveness
Mara, an Africa-focused cryptocurrency startup, has raised $23 million in funding to build a so-called pan-African cryptocurrency exchange, according to a report. Coinbase Ventures, Alameda Research, Distributed Global, TQ Ventures, DIGITAL, Nexo, Huobi Ventures, Day One Ventures, and Infinite Capital participated in the startup’s financing.
According to Venture Beat, this round of financing also attracted angel investors such as Amit Bhatia and Hamad Alhoimaizi. Additionally, around 100 cryptocurrency investors are said to have participated in the round.
In comments following Mara’s successful fundraising, the startup’s CEO, Chi Nnandi, was quoted in the report suggesting that the upcoming platform will enhance Africa’s competitiveness. He explained:
Decentralized alternatives (including but not limited to finance, art, ownership, infrastructure, and commerce in general) will provide sub-Saharan Africans with alternatives to these tired systems. Through this digital financial system – through this freedom – the region will find itself in a stronger competitive position than the rest of the world.
Mara advises President of Central African Republic
According to a Venture Beat report, Mara will initially launch in Kenya, Nigeria and surrounding regions. Meanwhile, the report shows that Mara has entered into a partnership with the Central African Republic (CAR). As part of this collaborative arrangement, Mara will become the country’s official crypto partner. Mara will also serve as an advisor to the CAR President on issues such as crypto strategy and planning.
As previously reported by Bitcoin.com News, the Central African Republic became the first African country to adopt Bitcoin as its reference currency after its legislature voted for a crypto bill in late April.
Still, many organizations, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), have questioned the Central African Republic’s decision to adopt Bitcoin. Others point to the country’s lagging telecommunications infrastructure as proof that the African nation may not be ready for cryptocurrency adoption.
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