Mara has raised Sh2.7 billion ($23M) to build a pan-African cryptocurrency exchange platform including a crypto wallet.
This launch of Mara comes on the backdrop of funding from Coinbase Ventures, Alameda Research (FTX), Distributed Global, TQ Ventures, DIGITAL, Nexo, Huobi Ventures, Day One Ventures, Infinite Capital, DAO Jones (investment DAO backed by Mike Shinoda, Steve Aoki, and Disclosure), and nearly 100 other crypto investors, and angels including Amit Bhatia and Hamad Alhoimaizi.
While announcing the launch, Mara Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Chi Nnadi said the firm has also partnered with the Central African Republic (CAR), which just passed a bill legalizing Bitcoin as legal tender.
Mara will also become the official crypto partner of the CAR and an advisor to the President on crypto strategy and planning.
“Mara’s mission is to facilitate a more equitable distribution of capital by providing a decentralized alternative that spans across tribes, classes, cultures, and countries. Our goal is to close the gap in opportunities for SubSaharan individuals and establish a financial infrastructure that they can build their lives upon,” said Nnadi.
Mara rides on calls to decentralize Africa’s monetary system which has seen currencies devalued amid rising inflation.
According to Nnadi, Mara’s mission is to become the portal to the crypto economy for the African population which has been sidelined by the global cryptocurrency platforms who are also facing difficulties reaching African consumers.
The Mara suite of products addresses a variety of essential crypto-finance needs while complying with local regulations and being built authentically for the African audience.
Through the Mara Wallet, African users will be able to buy, send, sell and withdraw both fiat and crypto-assets instantly while the Pro-Exchange will offer comprehensive trading options.
Unlike other available cryptocurrency platforms, Mara’s onboarding, support, and ecosystem reflect the needs of Africans.
The platform has deployed the Know-Your-Customer policy and is compatible with international financial regulations.
Customer support is easily accessed and will be available in both local and international languages.
“We are pleased to partner with Mara as it embarks on building a digital financial system for Sub-Saharan Africa. With the right resources, this region has the potential for mass adoption of cryptocurrency. To that end, the local knowledge and specialized skills of the Mara team are quite promising,” added Schuster Tanger, Co-Founder of TQ Ventures.
Mara will initially launch in Kenya, Nigeria, and surrounding regions.
The Mara Wallet app will be available in the App Store and Google Play stores. Pre-registered users will join a queue to enable early access on a first-come, first-served basis.