Afropolitan, a community-as-a-service company for the African diaspora, has raised $2.1 million in pre-seed.
VCs who participated include Hashed, Atlantica Ventures, Microtraction, Cultur3 Capital, and other unnamed investors.
The round also saw some angel investors, including Balaji Srinivasan, Elizabeth Yin of Hustle Fund, Shola Akinlade of Paystack, Ian Lee of SyndicateDAO, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji of Future Africa, Olugbenga Agboola of Flutterwave, and Jason Njoku of IROKO.
The startup was founded by Eche Emole and Chika Uwazie in 2016. It offers Africans and those in the diaspora a variety of community-led opportunities through travel, events, and media.
The company plans to create the first Internet country, complete with its currency and a common goal. Why? Emole believes that Afropolitan is addressing the problem of bad governance because “governments across Africa and globally have failed black people in general.”
We’ve seen several blockchain startups emerge in an attempt to bring millions of Africans into the “new economy,” but Afropolitan focuses on Africans in the diaspora.
Also, Afropolitan’s social layer will allow members to invite new people and share resources, economic opportunities, culture, and media, resulting in an exponential network effect as more folks join the network due to its increasing value.
Consequently, the startup envisions a four-phase plan for this digital nation. The first phase involves continuing its media and events to communicate its vision through its events and podcast.
Afropolitan will launch a super app in phase two, bringing together all the utilities in its ecosystem under one roof. Members can send money across borders (remittances), collect risk capital, incorporate their businesses, apply for e-residency, and participate in learn-to-earn initiatives.
The third phase is about getting ready for their “transition from digital to virtual.” They will establish a network of seed institutions, including subsidiary funds, organisations, and a developing internal economy.
The final stage of Afropolitan’s push for full-scale sovereignty is when it reaches critical mass.