Ejara, a fintech startup based in Cameroon that help its users to purchase crypto assets, has raised $8 million in its series A funding round.
The funding round had leading participations from Dragonfly Capital, which is a cryptocurrency-focused fund; and the London-based venture capital company – Anthemis. Anthemis, who had also led Ejara’s $2 million seed round in October, 2021, is one of the startup’s follow-on investor.
Further participations in the investment came from other follow-on investors, including Mercy Corps Ventures, Coinshares Ventures, and Lateral Capital. The round also witnessed investments from new investors such as Circle Ventures, Moonstake, Emurgo, Hashkey Group and BPI France. Jason Yanowitz, co-founder of Blockwoks is one of the angels in the round.
With this investment, Ejara aims to upscale its offerings in Francophone Africa by providing users with the option to buy, sell, exchange and store their crypto investments.
Ejara has been working on way to “democratize access to investment and savings products throughout the region.” Ejara has been providing solutions through the use of blockchain, especially through its recently released savings product. The new product tokenizes government bonds. The startup’s cryptocurrency product has been essential in helping firm raise $10 million in less than a year and a half of its existence.
Ejara was founded in 2019 by Baptiste Andrieux, Nelly Chatue-Diop. The startup provides its clients with the option of non-custodial wallets so they may own and store their keys. This is in contrast to the majority of crypto platforms in Africa that give users custodial wallets. As a result of this, Ejara has been able to stay afloat, especially now that the failure of FTX and other crypto companies has shown the necessity for users to put privacy and ownership first when working with cryptocurrencies and tokenized assets.
“When everyone was taking the other route and building centralized exchanges, we always thought that, if you want to own crypto, you need to own your keys. And that’s pretty much what’s saved us in turbulent times,” CEO, Chatue-Diop, said.
Speaking on Ejara’s prospects, Ruth Foxe Blader, partner at Anthemis, said:
“Conscious of the challenges across the zone, Ejara does not intend to limit itself to being a crypto app, but rather to become a one-stop-shop for products tailored to the needs of Africans: a shop where a suite of financial products will be accessible at their fingertips, without the need for any crypto knowledge.”
Ejara has grown from the 8,000 customer base in Cameroon last year, to over 70,000 users spread across Senegal, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Guinea.