EMURGO – the official commercial arm and a founding entity of the Cardano blockchain – previously announced the launch of a new wholly-owned Cardano ecosystem investment vehicle to invest into early startup and growth stage companies focused on building socially impactful solutions powered by Cardano, through two separate entities with distinct visions, EMURGO Africa and EMURGO Ventures.
EMURGO Africa announced today its vision and plans to position Cardano as the standard tech infrastructure platform for Africa’s emerging industrial innovation and support 100 local startups within three years, which will bring financial empowerment to the continent.
Venture capital investments in African startups is expected to total between $2.25 billion to $2.8 billion in 2021, indicating a large potential for high-growth startups in the local market.
The African startup market already has notable African companies such as Jumia, a NYSE-listed e-commerce platform, and several other unicorns such as Flutterwave.
In terms of Africa’s blockchain market, it is projected to possess a 30% market share of the global blockchain market and grow from a $1.1 billion market in 2020 to a $134.9 billion market by 2028.
The overall mission of EMURGO Africa is three-fold.
- First, establish a sustainable growth model for African startups that balances commercial viability and social impact.
- Second, build financial infrastructure on Cardano to promote innovation and bridge African traditional finance with blockchain-based decentralized finance (DeFi).
- Third, connect various African and Asian industries to mutually share business resources.
To achieve this mission, EMURGO Africa will launch with a $100 million allocation for a dedicated investment and incubation program.
EMURGO Africa will first target pre-seed blockchain startups with a market capitalization of $20M or less, and then early-stage startups, with a focus on startup communities in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Egypt, before expanding across Africa.
EMURGO Africa’s investments will focus on blockchain sectors such as DeFi and NFTs, and emerging technologies such as AI, fintech, edutech, agritech, and healthtech.
To mark EMURGO Africa’s official launch and first portfolio investment, it has forged a strategic partnership with Adanian Labs – a successful pan-African venture studio and incubator for more than 15 African startups through its innovative African-specific incubation program and a significant contributor to African industrial innovation by planning smart cities using blockchain in partnership with the Ugandan city of Entebbe.
EMURGO Africa has also announced a strategic partnership with Everest Ventures Group (EVG) – a leading Asian blockchain venture studio backed by a consortium of prominent families and companies including the Rothschild family (Europe), Hanwha Group (Korea), Sun Hung Kai (Hong Kong), etc. – to jointly launch Adaverse, a Cardano-focused acceleration program in Africa.
Via its parent company EMURGO, EMURGO Africa provides four unique value propositions for its portfolio companies and strategic partners:
- Blockchain education content and resources
- EMURGO’s education unit has partnered with more than 20 universities globally and successfully produced 2,500 blockchain-proficient students thus far.
- Tailored blockchain solutions development
- Provide startups with the support and technical expertise necessary to build solutions on Cardano. EMURGO Trace – an enterprise traceability solution – is in live production with more than five coffee companies across the globe
- Growth support
- Accessibility to Cardano and industry partners