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MARA raises $23M from Coinbase Ventures and FTX to build Africa’s portal to the crypto economy

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The use of cryptocurrency in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly among its young people, cannot be overstated. Data from blockchain intelligence firm Chainalysis says the region’s crypto usage grew 1,200% last year, making it the third-fastest growing cryptocurrency economy .

But despite the proliferation of local and foreign crypto exchanges and the introduction of novel models by up-and-coming web3 platforms, some observers believe there are still notable barriers to using crypto in Africa.

This reflection has led to new upstarts such as MARA, a pan-African crypto exchange platform that wants to “increase the number of Africans who can participate in the crypto economy.” Today, the startup is announcing that it has completed a $23 million equity and token seed raise from multiple investors. They include high-profile crypto and web3 investors such as Coinbase Ventures, Alameda Research (FTX) and Distributed Global.

Other VCs in the round include TQ Ventures, DIGITAL, Nexo, Huobi Ventures, Day One Ventures and Infinite Capital and DAO Jones (investment DAO backed by Mike Shinoda, Steve Aoki and Disclosure), while about 100 other crypto investors participated too.

“We are pleased to partner with MARA as it embarks on building a digital financial system for Sub-Saharan Africa,” says Schuster Tanger, co-founder of TQ Ventures, […]

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