Afriex, a Nigerian blockchain-based money transfer startup, announced it has raised $10 million in Series A funding to expand its blockchain money transfer app.
The round was led by Sequoia Capital China and Dragonfly Capital with participation from Goldentree, Stellar Foundation, and Exceptional Capital, among others.
Founded in 2019 by Tope Alabi and John Obirije, Afriex provides instant, zero-fee transfers to Africans at home and in the diaspora.
It allows users to deposit cash on the app, send money to a bank account or another user and withdraw money to a connected bank or debit card.
The startup said it makes money by arbitraging the currency and crypto exchange rates when a customer transacts.
It said it raised a $1.3 million seed round last May and has just closed a $10 million Series A round at a $60 million valuation.
Afriex processes more than $5 million in monthly transfers. It has grown its customer base by 500 per cent in the last six months with half of its active users using the platform more than once a week, according to Forbes.
”Because we are building this network of connected financial institutions, we have built on-ramps for local Nigerian banks and on-ramps for local currency exchanges,” Mr Alabi was quoted by Forbes as saying. “We are building this Web3 mesh of financial institutions that could almost become something like the next Visa.”
Dragonfly Capital managing partner, Haseeb Qureshi, said, “A big strength of the company is being able to straddle the entire corridor between the U.S. and Africa where many others have tried to succeed and haven’t.
“The reality is that if you want to succeed in emerging markets you need a really strong ground game,” he said.