Canza Finance secures $3.27 million to empower underserved sub-Saharan Africa SMEs with financial services

Nigeria's Canza Finance has closed a $3.27 million seed round to empower underserved sub-Saharan Africa SMEs with financial services

Canza Finance secures $3.27 million to empower underserved sub-Saharan Africa SMEs with financial services

Nigeria's Canza Finance has closed a $3.27 million seed round.

The round was led by Fenbushi Capital, with participation from Dominance Ventures, Bixin Ventures, Consensys, Protocol Labs, Emergo Ventures, MEXC Global, NGC Ventures, XanPool, Hashkey, the founders of Celo, and others.

Founded in 2020, Canza Finance is an emerging markets neobank that is building the world’s largest non-institutional-based financial system, announced the completion of its $3.27M seed round.

With this funding, Canza will continue to headcount growth and expand its service offering in Nigeria and other growth regions including  South America and Asia. The neobank 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.

Oyedeji Oluwoye, CoFounder and CTO of Canza Finance, commented, “We stand at a critical juncture in the journey to democratizing finance, with Nigeria emerging at the vanguard of crypto adoption globally. Against a backdrop of high inflation, financial instability, and barriers to access to traditional financial services, sub-Saharan Africa’s underdeveloped financial infrastructure has made the region a perfect vector for decentralized finance — according to a 2021 report by KPMG, more than 1 in 3 Nigerian adults are excluded from traditional finance.”

“Our vision is to become leaders in decentralized finance and to spearhead this movement to offer financial freedom to millions of individuals. The tremendous interest and backing of our investors and strategic partners will enable us to grow the world-class Canza team, improve our security and most importantly take a definitive leadership position in our target markets.” Oluwoye added.

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.

The Nigerian startup is a member of Celo’s Alliance for Prosperity, an ecosystem of 140+ mission-aligned organizations including nonprofits, merchants, and payment processors fostering social impact using the Celo blockchain. Today, Canza has over 7,000 Celo wallets created via the USSD DApp with weekly transactions averaging over $200,000.

For Bo Shen, Managing Partner at Fenbushi Capital, “the rate of cryptocurrency adoption in high-growth markets—in particular Africa—not only signals growing excitement for this new digital economy, but the advance of real-world use cases. This traction, combined with Sub-Saharan Africa’s market, social and community conditions, uniquely positions it as an environment where a project like Canza will thrive.”

Prior to this funding round, Canza was financed by Flori Ventures in its pre-funding round, and through its participation in the Filecoin Launchpad Accelerator, Powered by Tachyon. This accelerator offers funding, advice, and support for startups that are building more open, interoperable, and programmable tools, infrastructure, and applications for the distributed web. This program was instrumental in Canza’s development from a hackathon project to a mature high-growth company.

Colin Evran, Ecosystem Lead at Protocol Labs described Canza as “a shining example of the power of the Filecoin Launchpad Accelerator to transform promising early-stage projects into high-growth businesses on the brink of making a huge impact in developing markets and Web3 ecosystem.”

Evran further stated that, “given the early traction of Canza, we are delighted to help expand access to Web3 technologies like decentralized identity tools and KYC options to the sub-Saharan Africa region. We’re excited to help the next cohort of African innovators turn their visions for Web 3.0 into reality.”