MARA Raises $23m to Build Portal to Boost Crypto Economy
MARA, a Pan-African crypto exchange, has launched its financial services, with an announcement of $23 million in funding from Coinbase Ventures, Alameda Research (FTX), Distributed Global, TQ Ventures, DIGITAL, Nexo, and Huobi Ventures.
Otters are 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.
In addition, MARA has also announced a partnership with the Central African Republic, which just passed a bill legalizing Bitcoin as legal tender. As part of this partnership, MARA will become the official crypto partner of the Central African Republic and an advisor to the President on crypto strategy and planning.
MARA’s launch comes at a critical inflection point in sub-Saharan Africa. Political and economic instability has led to devaluation of currencies across the region, while the current centralized financial system continues to present ongoing obstacles to the development of both local economies and individuals. As a result, food prices have doubled to tripled in some areas and created record-breaking interest rates. These tired systems have prompted a dire need for a decentralised alternative.
MARA’s mission is to become the portal to the crypto economy for the African population. While cutting-edge technologies such as cryptocurrency have shown incredible promise among Sub-Saharan Africa’s predominantly young and technologically-native population, there are considerable hurdles to using them. Many existing global exchanges cannot operate in the region due to regulatory challenges as well as difficulty reaching the African consumer in an authentic way.