Bitmama secures $2 million pre-seed to expand across Africa

Bitmama Inc. has raised an additional $1.65 million, ten months after its initial pre-seed round of $350,000.

Bitmama secures $2 million pre-seed to expand across Africa
Ruth Iselema, Founder and CEO of Bitmama Inc (M) and some members of the Bitmama team

Bitmama Inc. has raised an additional  $1.65 million—bringing its total pre-seed round to about $2 million—funding from a group of foreign and domestic investors ten months after its initial pre-seed round of $350,000.

With this latest funding, Bitmama will expand the company's operational presence, strengthen its team across different markets, consolidate its product offerings, and plot market penetration across Africa, while rapidly scaling new use cases for cryptocurrency within the continent.

"Being a leading female-focused VC fund, we at Five35 Ventures look forward to helping Ruth and her dynamic team scale Bitmama, especially seeing the growth of Changera, the remittance platform that allows all Africans to transact internationally at much cheaper rates than established remittance companies in the market," Hema Vallabh, Founding Partner at Five35 Ventures said.

Currently in three African markets; Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya, about 100,000 Bitmama’s users are able to trade several cryptocurrencies, use their debit cards for regular online payments, pay utilities and perform transactions such as staking to hedge against currency devaluation.

According to Ruth Iselema, Founder and CEO of Bitmama Inc, Bitmama wants to be "Africa's most user-friendly, innovative blockchain company, and we are glad to have the backing of seasoned investors and partners who have walked similar turfs. We are privileged to learn from their blended experiences across corporate and blockchain business verticals."

The blockchain company has built a distributed remote team across Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya, working to democratize the highly fragmented payment system in Africa. The goal, according to the team, is to leverage the blockchain in building solutions to power seamless peer-to-peer payments across the continent.

"Bitmama has made a number of strides in the past year. We've rolled out two products, both of which are fast closing in on 100,000 users across the African market and recording impressive daily active users across our range of product offerings despite the market dynamics," Iselema said.

The company's major products are the Bitmama exchange, which allows users to access virtual assets and explore several cryptocurrency use cases, then Changera, a social payment solution that allows non-crypto-savvy customers to use their money without limits, from anywhere in the world.

According to the 2021 Chainalysis Geography of Cryptocurrency Report, in Africa, cryptocurrencies are mostly used for three things: remittances, international commercial transactions, and hedging against inflation and harsh economic conditions. But to do any of these, you have to convert crypto to fiat or vice versa.

Like the virtual crypto cards, the physical crypto debit cards can be funded with stable coins — USDT, USDC and cUSD. And the monthly spending limit is over $10,000, which is 9,900% more than the limit on fiat debit cards issued by Nigerian banks. Bitmama physical crypto debit card is powered by Mastercard.

Get weekly insights on tech startups and VC in Africa