What is EMURGO Middle East & Africa?
EMURGO Middle East & Africa (MEA) is one of EMURGO’s investment arms. Based in Singapore, EMURGO is the official commercial arm and a founding entity of the Cardano blockchain.
EMURGO MEA serves as the regional entity overseeing its subsidiary EMURGO Africa, and also focuses on capitalizing on the rapid growth of the blockchain industry in the Middle East & African region.
EMURGO MEA partners and invests in blockchain infrastructure providers, and blockchain startups, and collaborates with regional leaders to achieve its goal of increasing the adoption of Cardano by solutions providers and users in the overall MEA region. EMURGO Africa operates as the local African office and leads its business activities there.
EMURGO MEA is led by co-CEOs Yosuke Yoshida and Shogo Ishida.
EMURGO Africa is led by its CEO Ahmed Amer.
How EMURGO Middle East & Africa builds Cardano’s Web3 ecosystem
EMURGO MEA launched in October 2021 as a part of EMURGO’s initial $100 million Cardano ecosystem investment vehicle.
Originally EMURGO Africa, the investment grew to become EMURGO MEA reflecting the huge opportunity for blockchain adoption and growth in the Middle East.
Upon its inception, EMURGO MEA partnered with pan-African venture builder Adanian Labs and started the Adaverse Cardano accelerator program in Africa to begin identifying, supporting, and incubating local blockchain talent.
Adanian Labs and Adaverse have helped to create a supporting and sustainable environment for blockchain projects and entrepreneurs in Africa to receive funding, business mentorship, and technical assistance in building socially impactful Web3 products & services on Cardano.
Adaverse continues to accept applications for its Cardano accelerator program year-round. Prospective applicants can apply here.
EMURGO MEA also strives to foster connections and interact with the growing blockchain community in Africa through local meetup events or hangouts. EMURGO MEA has been able to network and communicate directly with local entrepreneurs and blockchain talent through these events. According to a 2022 Chainalysis report, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) was the fastest-growing crypto market in the world.
At this year’s TOKEN2049 Singapore conference in an interview with CoinDesk, EMURGO outlined its plans to invest an additional $200 million into the Cardano ecosystem with $100 million earmarked for Africa.
2022 investments and partnership achievements
EMURGO MEA has made several investments and partnerships over the past year including a partnership agreement with Kepple Africa Ventures, an Africa-dedicated venture capital firm, to identify future investment opportunities in the developing Web3 sector.
Some of the notable partnerships include:
- Real finance “RealFi” exploration with Cardano founding entity IOG
The blockchain space has introduced the concept of decentralized finance or “DeFi” to crypto users. However, much of DeFi has been aimed at users in the developed world, for traders, and without the input of digital identity. Real finance or “RealFi” is an upgrade of DeFi by adding the concept of digital identity to decentralized finance to serve real financial products to those really in need.
EMURGO MEA has been in discussions with Cardano ecosystem partner IOG to realize the concept of “RealFi” by leveraging Cardano’s blockchain technology to deliver RealFi products and services through investment and R&D to underserved areas.
- EMURGO Kepple Ventures
Initially launched as a partnership with Kepple Africa Ventures, the partnership has now evolved into a business joint venture, EMURGO Kepple Ventures. More information will be included in the official announcement.
- CV VC (Crypto Valley Venture Capital)
EMURGO MEA has entered into an agreement and signed an LOI (letter of intent) with reputable VC firm Crypto Valley Venture Capital (CV VC), one of the founding fathers of Swiss Crypto Valley, to form a strategic partnership and join as an investor to their fund. More information will be included in the official announcement.
On the investment side, some highlights include:
MidChains is a fully licensed and regulated virtual asset multilateral trading facility (exchange) and custodian based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). MidChains is regulated by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), and backed by sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) and reputed international investors including Mubadala Investment Company (Mubadala), MIAX Exchange Group, DisruptAD (ADQ’s venture platform), and GSR. Recently, MidChains joined Visa’s Fintech Fast Track program to access and utilize Visa’s growing partner network for global payments using virtual assets, among other benefits.
Afriex is a crypto bank for payment remittance, utilizing stablecoins to provide cheaper and fast international payments for Africans. Through its payment app, instant money transfers are completed between users in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, the United States, and Canada. Afriex caters to business enterprises, and individuals conducting transactions between Africa and abroad, including the underbanked, with a simple interface where quick, affordable global remittances are made without the delay and hassles associated with traditional payment channels.
Scalex is a pan-African peer-to-peer network that aims to bring secure, frictionless cryptocurrency trading across Africa. Scalex is building possibilities with cryptocurrency in Africa — providing an avenue for crypto traders to complete transactions quickly, powered by a decentralized liquidity aggregating infrastructure.
Afropolitan is a Web3-based community for African development. Afropolitan is an ambitious endeavor to find a digital nation for Africans and the African diaspora. Inspired by the writings of tech entrepreneur & crypto philosopher Balaji Srinivasan, Afropolitan aspires to first build a global network of Africans online before forming connected communities in the real world. At its core, Afropolitan curates Black and African talent, culture, capital, information, and experiences for a globally distributed membership.
In Africa, where the sports gaming culture exists but the fantasy sports market is in its infancy, FanBants offers a football/soccer fantasy sports platform that allows Africans to make predictions based on their advanced analytics rather than luck. Its founder and CEO, Fola Folowosele himself is a graduate of Harvard Business School and has extensive experience in the business of sports having worked at Nike. Wilfred Ndidi, one of the best midfielders in the English Premier League, has joined the project as an investor.
Follow EMURGO Middle East & Africa on Twitter
To stay up-to-date with EMURGO MEA, follow on Twitter @EmurgoAfrica
Also, be sure to join the Telegram channel listed below for any other additional information.
If you have any questions, please contact Emeka Ezike here.
- Official Homepage: emurgo.io
- Twitter (Global): @EMURGO_io
- YouTube: EMURGO channel
- Discord: EMURGO Community
- Facebook: @EMURGO.io
- Instagram: @EMURGO_io
- LinkedIn: @EMURGO_io
About EMURGO Middle East & Africa