Afriex, a Nigerian payment platform that lets users send and receive money from Africa for free, has raised $10 Million in a Series A round.
Nairametrcs reported Tuesday that the company, now valued at $60 million, will use the money to “expand its blockchain money transfer platform.”
Sequoia Capital China, Dragonfly Capital and Exceptional Capital led the round. Its latest raise is less than a year after raising a seed of $1.2 million to expand its payments and remittances platform in Africa.
The YC-backed startup, from the Summer 2020 batch offers a product that uses blockchain to enable users send funds by converting them into stablecoins, which are in their most granular form, cryptocurrencies backed by the dollar.
Tope Alabi, John Obirije and John Alabi co-founded the company 2019 and stated that their long-term goal was to create a service that is similar to Visa.
We are creating this network of financial institutions connected to each other. This has allowed us to build on-ramps and currency exchanges in Nigeria.
“We are building this web3 mesh of financial institutions that could almost become something like the next Visa.”
Haseeb Qureshi, Dragonfly Capital managing Partner and one of the participating companies in the round, stated that the investment was the right route for the VC even though it seeks to create a new company. “really strong ground game” in emerging markets like Africa.
“A big strength of Afriex is being able to straddle the entire corridor between the U.S. and Africa where many others have tried to succeed and haven’t,” he said. “The reality is that if you want to succeed in emerging markets you need a really strong ground game.”
Afriex has been a success story over the years. It processes upwards of $5,000,000 worth of transactions each month. This is partly due to its reputation for speedy and free transactions.
This raises its popularity amount young Africans, presenting the argument that it’s a better choice than other global businesses offering similar products, like Wise for instance which charges a 6.45% fee for transactions that take longer to complete.