Last year, Cardano-related entities expanded their investment ventures into African blockchain startups, with Adaverse serving as one of the vehicles to help flourish companies and provide them with strategic resources to build compelling solutions on Cardano’s green, third-generation blockchain.
With this mission in mind, Adaverse— jointly formed by EMURGO Africa and Everest Ventures — today announced an investment as part of a seed funding round for Canza, a Web 3.0 financial portal bridging the FX gap in the local African markets through DeFi (decentralized finance) services in collaboration with a large network of local money market agents.
An African open finance portal enabling accessible financial services to all, Canza has secured funding of $3.27M led by Fenbushi Capital, to expand operations across the continent. Other international investors participated in the Pre-A funding round, including Dominance Ventures, Bixin Ventures, Protocol Labs, MEXC Global, NGC Ventures, XanPool, Hashkey, and the founders of Celo.
Established in 2020, Canza relies on a robust network of experienced local money market players to distribute financial and transaction-based services to users in Sub-Saharan African countries. Canza’s seamless crypto on/off-ramp services enable a wide range of DeFi services including staking, P2P and cross border settlements — aiming to contribute to the creation of an innovative and fully decentralized financial system.
By leveraging the technical development and open-source tools on the Cardano blockchain for tokenized digital solutions, Canza joins the growing list of crypto-native solutions that will be accelerated through Adaverse, which will provide strategic mentorship and Cardano development support to help foster a thriving Web3 and Cardano-based ecosystem in Africa in the years to come.
“We are excited to invest into Canza which is building a socially impactful solution that can democratize access to financial services and provide individual empowerment for the region. We strongly believe providing the strategic resources necessary to nurture and support the development of technical solutions leveraging Cardano’s scalable, sustainable, interoperable, and environmentally-sustainable blockchain is the first step in helping startups to build solutions that flourish,” said EMURGO Africa CEO Ken Kodama.
Adaverse Partner Vincent Li said, “We have faith in the leadership and believe that Canza has the potential to transform Africa’s financial landscape by bringing affordable foreign exchange to the highly enterprising masses. Canza’s solution is visionary and requires cutting-edge technology to help sustain local SMEs with affordable and reliable financial services at the grassroots level, all of which are readily accessible via Cardano’s environmentally-sustainable blockchain.”
Oyedeji Oluwoye, Co-founder and CTO of Canza Finance, commented, “We are so thankful for the tremendous interest and backing of the Adaverse & EMURGO Africa teams. Their investment, guidance and mentorship will enable us to grow the Canza team and spearhead the DeFi movement to offer financial freedom to millions of individuals in Sub-Saharan Africa.”
Why Canza Finance?
Canza is a DeFi solution portal founded in 2020 by Telecom experts Pascal Ntsama and Oyedeji Oluwoye to address a critical financial need for SMEs seeking foreign currency for transaction settlements and cross-border business. Canza provides local Foreign Exchange (FX) traders valuable access to capital, process automation, and a high yield vault for deposits in exchange for their local currency. By partnering with local money agents, Canza is building the world’s first NeoBank for African Businesses that will leverage stable cryptocurrency for global commerce and FX trading.
Digital financial services are rapidly expanding in Africa with the goal of achieving financial inclusion at the grassroots through instant financial services. However, Africa has an underserved $35 billion foreign exchange market and over 500,000 local currency traders who are struggling with manual transaction processing, currency devaluation, and rising foreign exchange costs. Canza aims to increase access to capital for FX services by facilitating local transactions and rewarding users with the Canza token.
Canza’s collaboration with a large network of mobile money agents will lower the entry barrier for non-literates, the unbanked, and the underbanked, to access major financial services while maintaining the security and transparency associated with decentralization.
Its overarching goal to provide open financial inclusion to anyone seeking financial services aligns with one of Cardano’s main objectives to have its blockchain used as a platform to empower individuals and offer instant access to a variety of basic services.