Million-dollar blockchain projects have finally come to Africa

The potential use cases of blockchain technology largely complement Africa’s efforts to address its socioeconomic challenges, but the funds to create solutions have been hard to come by in pre-pandemic times.

But a report published recently by Swiss venture capital firm VC CV  in partnership with Standard Bank shows that millions of dollars have started trickling into the continent (pdf) in the form of blockchain financing. According to the study, 41 African blockchain startups in eight countries raised $127 million in 2021.

Anne Kaluvu, a blockchain expert and lecturer at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) in Kenya, tells Quartz there is a lot of vested interest on blockchain in Africa currently.

“I believe the efforts that Africans have shown in their creativity and openness to the technology is inspiring a lot of venture capitalists to salivate on what can happen if funds were availed in this market.”

Nigeria, Seychelles, Kenya, and South Africa are the region’s blockchain darlings

96% of the funding went to Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, and Seychelles but it was in the first quarter of this year when the millions rolled into the continent more, showing promise of an even better year to come.

“Companies raised $91 million in Q1 of 2022, a staggering 1,668% YoY increase from Q1 of the previous year,” the report says.

The continent’s venture funding growth in the first quarter of 2022 was 11 times the growth of general venture funding in the same period in 2021.

Blockchain financing in the second quarter of this year got off to a quick start, with some noteworthy fundraising by Mara which raised $23 million in Nigeria and Kenya, Jambo which has injected $30 million in the Republic of Congo, and Afriex which pumped $10 million into Nigeria.

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