African startup Mara recently announced that it has raised around $23 million in funding from organizations ranging from Coinbase Ventures to individual angel investors such as Amit Bhatia and Hamad Alhoimaizi. Mara has also partnered with the Central African Republic (CAR) and will serve as an adviser to the country’s president.

Increasing Africa’s competitiveness

An Africa-focused crypto startup, Mara, has raised $23 million in funding to build what it calls a 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 fundraising.

According to a report by Venture Beat, the funding round also attracted angel investors like Amit Bhatia and Hamad Alhoimaizi. In addition, around 100 crypto investors are said to have participated in the round.

In his comments after Mara’s successful fundraising, the startup’s CEO Chi Nnandi is quoted in the report as suggesting that the upcoming platform would improve Africa’s competitiveness. He explained:

A decentralized alternative (which will include, but not be limited to, finance, art, property, infrastructure and business as a whole) will offer sub-Saharan Africans an alternative to these tired systems. Through this digital financial system – through this freedom – the region will find itself in a much stronger competitive position compared to other parts of the world.

Mara advises the President of CAR

According to the Venture Beat report, Mara will initially be launched in Kenya, Nigeria and surrounding regions. Meanwhile, the report revealed that Mara has partnered with Central African Republic (CAR). As part of this partnership agreement, 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 News, the Central African Republic became the first African country to adopt Bitcoin as a reference currency after its legislative body voted in favor of a crypto law in late April.

Still, many organizations, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), have questioned the Central African Republic’s decision to adopt Bitcoin. Others have pointed to the country’s lagging telecoms infrastructure as evidence that the African nation may not be ready to embrace crypto.

tags in this story

Alameda Research, Bitcoin, Central African Republic Bitcoin, Central African Republic, Chi Nnandi, Coinbase Ventures, Decentralized Finance, Digital Financial System, Fundraising, IMF, Pan-African Cryptocurrency Exchange

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Terence Zimwara

Terence Zimwara is an award-winning Zimbabwean journalist, author and writer. He has written extensively on the economic woes of some African countries and how digital currencies can provide an escape route for Africans.

photo credit: Shutterstock, Pixabay, WikiCommons

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