Over the years, we’ve seen the boom of blockchain and crypto activities across the African continent. Beyond trading, use cases motivated by solving real-world problems are becoming mainstream. There’s been a flurry of blockchain-based solutions related to remittances, cross-border payments, financial inclusion, and decentralized finance. This is why we at DFS Lab are excited to be hosting our inaugural Blockchain Bootcamp with support from the Stellar Development Foundation.
The virtual bootcamp is designed to give early- to mid-stage startups in Africa an opportunity to build on Stellar, an open-source blockchain network for financial services and products, over a three day period. The most promising solutions built on Stellar will be awarded prizes to further pursue their vision. The event will culminate in a demo day where the startups will pitch the solutions they developed to investors, with an opportunity to raise additional funds from the investors, as well as SDF.
Out of the hundreds of great applications we received, we are excited to invite a group of nine innovative companies to our bootcamp between September 28 to 30. We hope that by having the opportunity to build on Stellar and work closely with the SDF team, these companies will be able to launch innovative products that can be used by millions of users across the continent in their daily lives.
As we look to continue to fund early stage companies in the digital commerce space at DFS Lab, we see this as an opportunity to get more startups and the ecosystem as a whole interested in solving a broader range of problems using blockchain technology.
Fonbnk is a new decentralized and distributed finance company that is providing a frictionless and transparent onboarding of the under-represented in developing economies into the digital age. Their platform allows users to trade prepaid airtime credits for cryptocurrency without prior knowledge of market-making as a way of earning passive income from their mobile devices. With a mission to reduce the friction for their users to participate in the broader crypto ecosystem, they’re excited to build on Stellar as the leading solution that provides broad availability and low transaction fees.
Hover’s main product, Stax, is a universal money utility for Africa. It allows people to link all their bank and mobile money accounts to a single account. They’re mission-aligned with SDF in terms of financial openness and are looking to build a self-custody crypto wallet with access to basic DeFi services, such as yield harvesting, on Stellar’s blockchain.
HoneyCoin is building a decentralized monetization platform to power social commerce in Africa and beyond. They’ve built an escrow engine to facilitate the collection of payments for both cash and crypto. Via Crypto, users can create fast, simple payment or product links and HoneyCoin handles the complexities. They’re excited about building on Stellar due to its affordability and scalability.
Moneymie is a wallet service that lets Africans everywhere send and receive money, make online payments, and earn yield. They aim to build an interest bearing feature for Moneymie wallets that can be paid out monthly using Stellar network rails.
WindPay is a super app that enables businesses to digitize quickly and cheaply, in addition to accepting payments online. They’re already building their payment system on Stellar, enabling their app to send and receive instant payments due to the network’s high processing speed.
Dyapay is a decentralized money transfer platform enabling users to be rewarded on yield earning accounts. Moving money in and out of Africa is challenging especially for SME/SMI, freelancers and businesses in the informal sector. They currently rely on intermediaries who charge high fees and cash manipulation with high security risk. Dyapay allows users to move money in a secure way at low cost. Thus, users have access to financial products they were excluded before like high-yield savings accounts.They will use Stellar as the underlying infrastructure to enable cross-border payments for these products.
Gravity empowers small businesses to create private and portable financial identities and share them with lenders to access earmarked working capital loans. They would like to explore stablecoin payments in the supply chain to allow merchants to create a payment history that is more easily accessible and verifiable than what’s available, as well as exploring DeFi for merchants.
Pesapeer enables cross-border payments in an easy and cost efficient way. They intend to leverage Stellar for instant cross-border payments.
Quidroo is an online factoring platform where transactions are streamlined and SMEs get paid within 72 hours by selling their invoices to get fast cash at favorable rates. Quidroo is 'women first' and focuses on Sustainable Development Goal 9.3 (Increasing the proportion of small-scale industries with access to finance in developing countries) and SDG 8.3 (Increasing the proportion of people with access to Financial services). Since Stellar is optimized for payment and financial transactions, Quidroo can leverage on Stellar's blockchain technology to optimize for quick, transparent and efficient invoice financing for SMEs.
We’re excited to kick the bootcamp off at the end of the month, and look forward to seeing what our participants build.