South African-born global cryptocurrency start-up Coindirect has raised €1-million (about R16-million) in an investment round led by Concentric, with participation from Blockchain.com and MakerDAO.
The end-to-end cryptocurrency platform, founded by Donald Jackson, Jesse Hemson-Struthers, Nicholas Haralambous and Stephen Young, allows customers to trade cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum using their own local currency in the emerging markets.
“Realising that emerging markets have largely been ignored by existing cryptocurrency services, the founders set out to bring widespread cryptocurrency adoption to people in these regions, which they believe can benefit the most from its decentralised approach to finance,” the company said in a statement on Thursday.
Hemson-Struthers, Jackson and Haralambous have all built and sold multiple businesses in South Africa and Africa in industries including mobile technology, social networks and the regulated gaming industry. Young has a financial and software development background, and spent nine years at Allan Gray Asset Management.
The Coindirect platform allows users to buy and sell cryptocurrency using local fiat currency wherever they are using their mobile device or desktop browser. It supports over 40 different cryptocurrencies, which it said is the largest offering in Africa. It has 40 000 registered users in South Africa.
“With the help of the latest round of funding, Coindirect plans to further expand across Africa and Europe, supported by partnerships with Blockchain.com, MakerDAO and others being announced in the coming months,” it said in a statement.
“The business is particularly focused on bringing cryptocurrency to emerging markets, with growing demand for alternative ways of banking and engaging with money in these regions. The team believes the lull in the crypto markets provides an ideal opportunity to build the infrastructure for widespread adoption.”
The company’s chief operating officer, Haralambous, said: “Coindirect is on a mission to change money by building a bridge between the decentralised world of crypto and the centralised world of traditional finance. Our goal is for everybody, from a first-time buyer to a pro investor, to easily and securely be able to buy, sell, trade and track their assets in one place.”
Alexander Mann, investor at Concentric, said: “Coindirect is tapping into a genuine use case for cryptocurrencies — and bitcoin’s original purpose — which is to give citizens in countries with poor governance a chance of financial freedom.” — (c) 2019 NewsCentral Media