An African company backed by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Chipper Cash, has raised $30 million and is launching a cryptocurrency trading service due to high demand for cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin. Users of Chipper Cash will be able to buy and sell cryptocurrencies as well as U.S. stocks, such as Tesla, Apple, and Amazon, through the app.
Jeff Bezos-Backed Chipper Cash to Begin Offering Crypto Trading
African cross-border payments startup Chipper Cash has raised $30 million in a Series B funding round. It was led by venture capital firm Ribbit Capital, with the participation of Bezos Expeditions, the personal VC fund of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
Founded in 2018 by Ugandan Ham Serunjogi and Ghanaian Maijid Moujaled, the San Francisco-based Chipper Cash offers fee-free mobile P2P payment services. The services are available in seven African countries: Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Africa, and Kenya. The app allows users to send and receive money across Africa. “Enjoy free transfers and the lowest cross-border rates,” its website describes.
The Chipper Cash platform has three million users and processes about 80,000 transactions daily on average. CEO Serunjogi said that in June the app reached a monthly payments value of $100 million.
Chipper Cash plans to use the funds raised to provide additional products and services as well as expand into more countries. “On the product side, that entails offering more business payment solutions, crypto-currency trading options, and investment services,” Techcrunch reported Thursday and quoted Serunjogi as saying:
We’ve had demand from our users to offer other value services … like purchasing cryptocurrency assets and making investments in stocks.
Chipper Cash has already added on its website and app the option to buy and sell bitcoin in beta. Users can also invest in U.S. stocks through the app from Africa via a partnership with U.S. financial services company Drivewealth.
The stock product will launch in Nigeria first and then expand to other countries, Serunjogi explained, adding that Nigerians will “have the option to buy fractional stocks — Tesla shares, Apple shares or Amazon shares and others — through our app.”
Bezos is now the world’s richest person. Forbes reported in August that the Amazon CEO became the world’s first-ever person to amass a $200 billion fortune.
Serunjogi believes that the backing of well-known investors such as Jeff Bezos benefits Africa as a whole. He opined: “It’s a big deal when a world class investor like Bezos or Ribbit goes out of their sweet spot to a new area where they previously haven’t done investments … Ultimately, the winner of those things happening is the African tech ecosystem overall, as it will bring more investment from firms of that caliber to African startups.”
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