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Blockchain payment platform – Bitmama – closes $2 million pre-seed round

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Bitmama, a blockchain payment platform based in Nigeria and the United States, has raised an additional $1.65 million to complete its pre-seed funding round.

In October, 2021, Bitmama had started its pre-seed funding round with a $350,000 fundraise that had participations from investment firms like Unicorn Growth Capital, Launch Africa Ventures, Adaverse and Flori Ventures. Bitmama has now raised a total of $2 million in its pre-seed funding round.

The new fundraise witnessed investments from a wide range of investors, with leading investment coming from Unicorn Growth Capital, and Launch Africa Ventures. Other firms that participated in the fundraising round include Adaverse, and Flori Ventures, (which led its earlier pre-seed round). The following investors also joined the list of investors: Tekedia Capital, GreenHouse Capital, ODBA, Five35 Ventures, Chrysalis Capital, Enrich Africa, Thrive Africa, Angellist Ventures, and angel investors including, CELO founders: Rene Reinsberg, and Marek Olszewski; and Honey Ogundeyi.

According to a statement by the company, the newly raised funds will be used to expand Bitmama’s operational presence, strengthen its team, consolidate its product offerings and plot market penetration across Africa while rapidly scaling new use cases for cryptocurrency within the continent.

Bitmama was founded in 2019 by Ruth Iseleme, who also doubles as CEO. The company began as a WhatsApp group where members learned about bitcoin, and made transactions. The WhatsApp group later transformed into a crypto exchange platform where member make crypto transactions.

“We started Bitmama to make it easy for anyone across the African continent to buy and sell cryptocurrency. But as time passed, we saw a couple of use cases we could employ this technology to solve. Many people wanted to make transactions asides from buying and selling of crypto, so we built stuff that could also let them buy local and international airtime and data. Then, due to local bank card limitations of $20 monthly spend, we provided virtual dollar cards for Nigerians to make international purchases,” Iseleme told TechCrunch.

The company’s virtual card, which it called Changera, has over $10,000 monthly spending limit, and it is funded with stable coins. The company also said it has increased its users to almost 100,000 members, and have recorded increased usage of its products, with minimal marketing.

Bitmama has made a number of strides in the past year. We’ve rolled out two products, both of which are fast closing in on 100,000 users across the African market and recording impressive daily active users across our range of product offerings despite the market dynamics,” Iseleme said.

Speaking on the fundraise, Ruth Iseleme, Founder and CEO of Bitmama, said:

“Bitmama has made a number of strides in the past year. We’ve rolled out two products, both of which are fast closing in on 100,000 users across the African market and recording impressive daily active users across our range of product offerings despite the market dynamics. We are building Africa’s most user-friendly, innovative blockchain company, and we are glad to have the backing of seasoned investors and partners who have walked similar turfs. We are privileged to learn from their blended experiences across corporate and blockchain business verticals. We’re confident of the results we’ve achieved so far and we’re set to build the next big solution that the market deserves.”

Read also: Health-tech startup – HelpMum – receives $250,000 grant from McGovern Foundation

Janade Du Plessis, Managing General Partner at Launch Africa, also commented on the funding round:

“As a prominent Pan-African VC fund, we see our partnership with Bitmama as a way to truly allow all Africans with the ability to trade and manage cryptocurrencies, and digital assets conveniently and universally, creating a significant impact on allowing more people to trade and transact across Africa. This is something that we specifically value in our Fund and what Bitmama in particular delivers.”

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Health-tech startup - HelpMum - receives $250,000 grant from McGovern Foundation