Jambo, a Congo-based startup with three months of experience, has raised $7.5million seed funding. To make it easier for Africans to access crypto-based income-generating opportunities, the startup is creating a Web 3 superapp.
Africa is poised for Web3 to become the next major market due to its growing population, high smartphone penetration, increasing crypto adoption, and high unemployment.
Jambo is one of the many startups that are preparing for this next boom. Jambo hopes to recruit young Africans for Web 3 financial ecosystems via play-to-earn games. decentralised finance(DeFi) Services, including currency exchanges or remittances
James Zhang was raised in the Democratic Republic of Congo by his family, who had lived in Africa for three generations. After graduating in 2017 from NYU, he managed a cryptocurrency fund for four year. He saw the potential to replicate the success of Web 3 projects across Africa in Southeast Asia. James Zhang saw the opportunity and founded the Jambo his sister, who was born in Congo, will be joining him in November 2021.
Zhang wants to replicate the successes of Axie Infinity, Yield Guild Games and other gaming platforms in Africa. The adoption of crypto-based play-to-earn and crypto-based online video gaming platforms has resulted in millions of dollars in venture capital.
Jambo allows its users to earn income from Web2 or Web3 activities, even though Axie Infinity users only make an income playing games.
Jambo, for instance, partners with telecom providers to offer a nearly 70% discount and to sell directly to its customers at a half-off of the original price. Jambo allows users to save their data. Jambo partners with social media companies, so users can earn tokens that they can turn into income while watching content on their app.
James Zhang started, “The reason we can do that is via partnerships with these companies as we tokenize a part of their advertising budget and directly provide to the end-user,” he said. “Many Web2 incumbents or even Web3 are having a $100-200 user acquisition costs so we can lower that by order of magnitude by directly incentivizing the end-user.”
The final bit is play-to earn games. There are currently no play-to earn Web3 games that are popular in Africa. Because the infrastructure needed to create them (through Guilds) is lacking, this is why they are not popularized. Zhang claimed that Jambo will build this infrastructure.
However, unlike well-known guilds whose business models involve taking percentages of profit from its users, his company doesn’t plan to take a cut from its users’ earnings. Jambo’s revenues would rather come from Web2 models — charging advertising dollars and commissions from selling airtime and data.
As the “Web3 onboarding portal of Africa,” the CEO said Jambo is testing out over 10 play-to-earn games to introduce to its users in the next couple of months. Jambo will be focusing on education in order to close the knowledge gap and make the project a success.
“Education is at the core of what we do because I think there is no shortcut in Africa. Before you can start to monetize or acquire users, you must educate the user base. We are offering classes on Web3 with a complete curriculum. We plan to launch that in more than five universities in Africa by the end of Q1,” he answered.
Jambo has already signed up more 12,000 students in 15 countries (Morocco. Nigeria. Equatorial Gui. Uganda. Congo. Uganda. Rwanda. DR Congo. Tanzania. Zambia. Namibia. South Africa). To take a curated Web3 Curriculum, both online or offline.
According to the company this would allow students to explore play-to earn gaming opportunities and decentralized financing (DeFi). The programs can be found at colleges, as well in 600+ locations that have partner locations. Students are signed up by hundreds of ambassadors.
Nearly 60% of the population is under 25 years of age and almost 50% of university graduates in Africa are unemployed. Jambo believes its model of educating users about play-to-earn games and DeFi could “lead to financial prosperity in ways Africans could never have accessed before.”
The issue of educating Africa’s young population about Web3 and decentralization correlates with recent Web3 upstarts in Africa. Nestcoin from Nigeria raised $6.4 Million to scale up its Web3 initiatives. Breach is a media outlet that produces informative, bite-sized crypto content.
Nestcoin runs a gaming guild called Metaverse Magna (MVM), Jambo doesn’t, but they are similar in setting up a new Web3 segment in Africa different from more established platforms such as remittance and crypto exchanges.
Zhang says that, while traditional platforms aid Africans in saving and sending money, new startups are increasing wealth and earning potentials for users.
“I think in Africa, there is no money to save because there’s 1% super-rich and 99% the same. So for us, we set out with a different methodology, which is to help the everyday person make money,” the chief executive said.
Zhang stated that the startup will set up offices and local teams in 15 countries to provide services that are tailored to the needs of diverse communities.
“We have the long-term vision of realizing financial prosperity for billions across the continent and are committed to fostering the next generation of Web 3 innovators, builders, and creators,” he said.
The app’s operations and testing will be funded by the funds raised. Jambo plans to release the beta version of its app in Q2 and make it live in Q3.