EMURGO, the commercial arm and a founding entity of the Cardano blockchain has launched EMURGO Africa to fund, mentor and connect African blockchain-powered startups to industry players in Africa and Asia.
EMURGO aims to promote innovation and bridge African traditional finance with blockchain-based decentralized finance (DeFi) via its $100 million investment and incubation program. The $100 million will target pre-seed and early-stage blockchain startups with a market capitalization of 20M or less.
According to EMURGO CEO Ken Kodama, “Through EMURGO Africa, we are especially dedicated to delivering financial and educational empowerment opportunities on the continent by providing the capital and strategic partnerships necessary for local startups to scale rapidly and bring new solutions to Cardano. Our partnership with Adanian Labs and Everest Ventures provides us with a great framework to launch in Africa.”
The fund’s focus will be on blockchain industry growth sectors such as DeFi and NFTs, the fund and also AI, the metaverse, fintech, edutech, agritech, and healthtech ventures in rapidly growing startup communities in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Egypt, then expand across the continent.
EMURGO Africa aims to position Cardano as the standard tech infrastructure platform for Africa’s emerging industrial innovation. To mark EMURGO Africa’s official launch and first portfolio investment, it has forged a strategic partnership with Adanian Labs – a pan-African venture studio and incubator currently provides services all over Africa with focuses on building impact driven tech start-ups across key sectors.
Adanian Labs has been a successful incubator for more than 15 African startups through its innovative African-specific incubation program and contributed significantly to African industrial innovation such as planning smart cities using blockchain in partnership with the Ugandan city of Entebbe and educating engineers in partnership with the municipality of Kenya’s capital city Nairobi.
“As the startup that builds startups, we apply lean start-up principles in processes, learning, iteration, scaling and innovating solutions. This partnership with EMURGO will allow us to forge more efficient collaborations that will enable us to build quicker, scale faster. and optimize capitalization, creating a win-win benefit to all our partners in the sharing nature of our growing ecosystem” said Adanian Labs CEO John Kamara.
EMURGO Africa has also partnered with Everest Ventures Group (EVG) – an 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.
“Africa has the biggest potential to adopt cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies. I believe Adaverse can add much value to blockchain founders and the token ecosystem in Africa with the resources and support from EMURGO and Cardano,” said Adaverse Partner Jerome Wong.