Coindirect, the global cryptocurrency platform, has raised €1m in an investment round led by Concentric, with participation from Blockchain.com, and MakerDAO. The end-to-end cryptocurrency platform, founded by Donald Jackson, Jesse Hemson-Struthers, Nicholas Haralambous and Stephen Young, is one of the first of its kind to enable customers to trade cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum using their own local currency in the emerging markets.
Coindirect was founded on the belief that cryptocurrency is the enabling tool that will change the way people engage with and use money. Realising that emerging markets have largely been ignored by existing cryptocurrency services, the founders set out to bring widespread cryptocurrency adoption to people in these regions, which they believe can benefit the most from its decentralised approach to finance.
The four founders bring diverse entrepreneurial and institutional experience to the business. Hemson-Struthers, Jackson and Haralambous have all built and sold multiple businesses in South Africa and Africa in industries including mobile technology, social networks and the regulated gaming industry. Young has a financial and software development background and spent nine years at Allan Gray Asset Management.
The Coindirect platform allows users to buy and sell cryptocurrency using traditional local fiat currency wherever they are using their mobile device or desktop browser. It supports over 40 different cryptocurrencies at present, which is the largest offering in Africa.
Coindirect has proven its offering in the South African market, where it has acquired 40,000 registered users. The Coindirect iOS and Android apps are available for download and can be used anywhere in the world. The platform also caters for data-sensitive users in markets where data costs are high and coverage can be limited.
With the help of the latest round of funding, Coindirect plans to further expand across Africa and Europe, supported by partnerships with Blockchain.com, MakerDAO and others being announced in the coming months. The business is particularly focused on bringing cryptocurrency to emerging markets, with growing demand for alternative ways of banking and engaging with money in these regions. The team believes the lull in the crypto markets provides an ideal opportunity to build the infrastructure for widespread adoption.
Nic Haralambous, COO, Coindirect, commented: “Coindirect is on a mission to change money by building a bridge between the decentralised world of crypto and the centralised world of traditional finance. Our goal is for everybody, from a first-time buyer to a pro-investor, to easily and securely be able to buy, sell, trade and track their assets in one place. This round of funding and the key partners we have on board take us a step closer to our objective of achieving mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency in Africa and across the globe.”
Alexander Mann, Investor at Concentric, commented:
“Coindirect is tapping into a genuine use case for cryptocurrencies – and Bitcoin’s original purpose – which is to give citizens in countries with poor governance a chance of financial freedom. The business is in a fantastic position to expand its distribution across Africa and internationally, thanks to a stellar team with extensive entrepreneurial experience, and an understanding of how to scale early-stage ventures. With few sophisticated competitors currently challenging in this market, we’re excited to see what the future holds for the business.”
“Maker believes the blockchain has the power to create an inclusive platform for economic empowerment,” said Rune Christensen, CEO and co-founder of MakerDAO. “Working with Coindirect to help people purchase and trade cryptocurrencies with their local currency is one step closer to providing people around the world with equal access to the global financial marketplace.”
Samuel Harrison, the Managing Partner at Blockchain.com, commented:
“At Blockchain, we’re committed to advancing the crypto ecosystem and providing consumers with financial utility beyond speculation. We believe the emerging markets use case for blockchain technology is compelling for both payments and also as a store of value. This is particularly true in regions with less developed payments infrastructure, high inflation, and restricted access to traditional banking services. We’re thrilled to work with Coindirect with the mission of bringing crypto to the hands of the consumer”