Cameroon Financial services platform Ejara has raised a seed round of $2 million led by Coinshares Ventures and Anthemis Group, the company said Thursday.
Other investors include Mercy Corps Ventures, Lateral Capital, LoftyInc Capital Management and NetX Fund, and a group of angel investors including CEO of Ledger Pascal Gauthier, Blockworks Co-founder Jason Yanowitz, and AngelList’s Socially Financed Fund.
“By 2030, Africa will represent one of the world’s largest economic regions, and despite having nearly 25% of the continent’s population, Francophone African startups have attracted less than 1% of the venture capital in the African tech scene,” Meltem Demirors, chief strategy officer at CoinShares said in a statement.
The company was founded in 2020 and is based in Francophone-Africa, specifically Cameroon, and tailors its platform for African markets. The name “Ejara” derives from Bambara dialect and means “lion,” which coincides with their mission to put the power in people’s hands, the company said.
The funding will be used toward expansion and growth strategies, Nelly Chatue-Diop, founder of Ejara said to Blockworks in an interview. Since its launch, the platform has grown 25% month over month for its user base and increased transaction volume by 35% during the same period, Chatue-Diop added.
“We want to expand as quickly as possible,” Chatue-Diop said. “We started with crypto but aim to add stocks and fractionalized stocks, commodities and bonds and US foreign ones. So we can grow quickly, we need more tech, growth and focus on support,” she said.
Ejara started out in Cameroon, but has diversified across the Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Mali, Guinea, and Senegal as well as the Francophone diaspora in Europe & North America through its partnership with Moonpay, the company said.
The mission is all about protecting the African people’s money, Chatue-Diop said.
“It’s about protecting their wealth, diversifying their savings and growing their wealth. Historically, when you have savings in Africa, where do you invest? Banks give you 1% maybe, but you’re at the mercy of them closing and going away with your money,” she added.
A lot of Africans invest in real estate as a way to store their wealth, but when someone needs to abandon their homes and fly quickly out of their zone, they can’t take their real estate with them, Chatue-Diop noted. But, with platforms like Ejara, people can take their bitcoin and digital assets anywhere, she said.
“We are at the mercy of inflation, but diversifying into bitcoin and other assets will protect people against the debasement of their currency,” Chatue-Diop said.
Image Credits: Ejara