Mara, a Pan-African crypto exchange, launched recently has announced $23 million in funding, and signed a deal with Central Africa Republic.
The amount was as a result of funding from several companies- Coinbase Ventures, Alameda Research, Distributed Global, TQ Ventures, Digital, Nexo, Huobi Ventures, Day One Ventures,
Infinite Capital, DAO Jones and nearly 100 other crypto investors, and angels including Amit Bhatia and Hamad Alhoimaizi.
In addition, Mara has announced a partnership with the Central African Republic, which just passed a bill legalizing Bitcoin as legal tender. As part of this partnership, Mara will become the
official crypto partner of the Central African Republic and an advisor to the President on crypto strategy and planning.
Mara’s launch comes at a critical inflection point in Sub-Saharan Africa. Political and economic instability has led to devaluation of currencies across the region, while the current centralized financial system continues to present ongoing obstacles to the development of both local economies and individuals. As a result, food prices have doubled and tripled in some areas and created record-breaking interest rates. These tired systems have prompted a dire need for a decentralized alternative.
Mara’s mission is to become the portal to the crypto economy for the African population. While cutting-edge technologies such as cryptocurrency have shown incredible promise among Sub Saharan Africa’s predominantly young and technologically-native population, there are considerable hurdles to using them.
Many existing global exchanges cannot operate in the region due to regulatory challenges as well as difficulty reaching the African consumer in an authentic way. These barriers to access significantly restrict both the number of people who can participate in the crypto economy and the potential uses for digital currency in the region.
The Mara suite of products addresses a variety of essential crypto-finance needs while complying with local regulations and being built authentically for the African audience. Mara’s products include:
Mara Wallet – a brokerage app offering the crypto-curious user a friendly, distilled
experience through which they can buy, send, sell and withdraw both fiat and crypto assets instantly and without any prior crypto knowledge.
Pro-Exchange – a full-feature cryptocurrency platform focused on experienced users
that offers a comprehensive suite of trading options and technical analysis tools.
Mara Chain – a layer-1 blockchain, powered by the native MARA token, that gives savvy developers a place to build decentralized applications that will help shape the future of the African crypto economy.
Nnadi, co-founder and CEO of Mara says the company aims at being a reliable financial system for Africa.
“Our goal is to close the gap in opportunities for Sub-Saharan individuals and establish a financial infrastructure that they can build their lives upon,” Nnadi said.
“We are pleased to partner with Mara as it embarks on building a digital financial system for
Sub-Saharan Africa,” says Schuster Tanger, the co-founder of TQ Ventures says Africa is greatly poised for mass investment in cryptocurrencies and Mara comes at the right time.
“With the right resources, this region has potential for mass adoption of cryptocurrency. To that end, the local knowledge and specialized skills of the Mara team is quite promising.”
Mara will initially launch in Kenya, Nigeria, and surrounding regions. The Mara Wallet app will be available in the App Store and Google Play stores. Pre-registered users will join a queue to enable early access on a first-come, first-served basis. Users can jump up the queue by referring others, and earn crypto rewards by doing so, while increasing their odds of winning additional prizes and rewards in the process.
Once onboarded, the Mara Wallet will enable users to invest in crypto and send money to their family members in real time, without processing times or delays.