A number of startups are entering the market in an attempt to fix this challenge. Payourse, a blockchain business located in Lagos that creates user-friendly products and solutions to drive crypto acceptance in Africa, has received a $600,000 pre-seed investment to scale its products, employ additional people, and expand into other markets.
Michael Ugwu, one of Africa’s largest NFT collectors, Flori Ventures, Olumide Soyombo’s Voltron Capital, and Allegory Capital are among the investors in this round. CELO co-founders Marek Olszewski and Rene Reinsberg, Kola Aina of Ventures Platform, Angel Touch Holdings, and Oluwatobi Anisere were among the other angel investors that took part.
Payourse, founded in September 2019 by Bashir Aminu (CEO) and John Anisere (CTO), is addressing the challenge of Web3 economy accessibility and adoption by delivering the basic infrastructure and technologies that enable African businesses to create user-friendly crypto and Web3 products.
It all began as a side project.
Aminu came up with the idea for a simple platform that collects wallet addresses and then generates shareable links while working as the first product designer at Busha, a crypto exchange that just raised $4.2 million in venture funding. As a result, he pitched the idea to Anisere, a Busha colleague and front-end engineer at the time. Anisere was sold on the notion, and after a few brainstorming sessions, they got down to business. Coinprofile was created as a side project in September 2019.
Coinprofile, on the other hand, began to gain traction among crypto consumers due to its flawless experience. As more people became aware of the product, the duo realized how powerful and essential it could become. To improve Coinprofile, they proceeded to establish product-market fit and collect consumer feedback.
“We launched a remittance option that allows users to make payment using their wallets in May 2020, after accumulating a few of users and evaluating the comments and requests we’ve pulled,” Aminu told TechCabal.
Coinprofile has evolved into an easy, fast, and inexpensive crypto-fiat payment gateway that lets customers anywhere in the world to send crypto and receive fiat value in any African bank account within minutes, beginning with Nigerian bank accounts, in just over two years.
“We realized that we could open up our technology to other firms to build sustainable and user-friendly web3 products on top of them because of their ease of use,” Aminu added. “We believe that this will lead to the creation of more goods that the ecosystem requires to grow and enable widespread crypto adoption across Africa.”
What about CBN when you say remittance?
The Nigerian Central Bank has been ordering all financial institutions to stop enabling cryptocurrency transactions for over a year. Thanks to companies like Helicarrier, Binance, Paxful, and others who began adopting the peer-to-peer (P2P) paradigm to mitigate the market’s impact.
Trading cryptocurrency was challenging in the early days of the ban, but as these companies continued to strengthen and improve their peer-to-peer offers, things began to improve. But how has Payourse dealt with the elephant in the room in particular?
While peer-to-peer (P2P) is a useful alternative, it can be slow and insecure. Most exchange platforms do not want to act as escrow; it would be like taking on a new business for them. As a result, they solely offer a peer-to-peer marketplace and leave everyone to their own devices.
Payourse, on the other hand, did not go the P2P way and instead relies on liquidity partners. This means they’ve teamed up with some companies who supply liquidity (in the form of fiat currencies like the Naira) whenever a transaction is made. Within minutes after sending your crypto, their partners get the signal and complete your transaction.
Payourse believes that crypto will define the future of banking in Africa, and has set out to help more African businesses and individuals get on board by presenting itself as the continent’s go-to platform for all things crypto. And it’s already set its sights on Ghana and Kenya as the next markets to pursue.