Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) are becoming an easier way for startups to raise funding not only in the US but in other parts of the world, Africa too. According to a report issued by PwC and Crypto Valley mid-this year, between January and May 2018 alone, ICO volume was already twice as much as it was during the entire year of 2017.
“In total, 537 ICOs with a total volume of more than $13.7 billion has been registered since the beginning of the year,” read part of the report. Adding; “In comparison, in 2017 there were a total of 552 ICOs with a volume of just over $7.0 billion.”
Though Africa’s contribution to the ICO cake is not significant (yet), there’s been some activity. We have identified 8 blockchain startups operating in Africa that are outstanding in the amount of funding – in dollars – raised out of selling their tokens.
Though, even the highest amount raised to date is still below the current global average. Because, according to the PwC report, the average size of an ICO doubled from $12.8 million to over $25.5 million since last year.
1. Golix, $23M
Golix, a Zimbabwe headquartered crypto exchange with operations spanning several African countries. Founded in 2014 by Tawanda Kembo, Verengai Mabika, and William Chui, the startup supports Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda, Cameroon, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Uganda, and Kenya.
In June 2018, Golix launched an ICO to raise $35 million. Though they were only able to hit 65% by end of the token selling on July 25, 2018. “Out of a total of 637,120,048.5 GLX, we sold 415,519,188 GLX,” wrote the startup on their medium.
In their whitepaper, 1 GOLIX token – pegged against USD – was priced at $0.05612. When you multiply this with the number of tokens sold, you arrive at $23 million raised. We have also reached out to them to confirm the figure since they never communicated it.
Before this ICO, Golix had raised Seed Funding of $30,000 in May 2015 as well as an undisclosed round of Venture capital from Taurai Chinyamakobvu – an Angel Investor – in December 2016. The company pointed out that it opted for an ICO “after struggling to raise venture capital for a long time.”
2. BlockBank, $12M
BlockBank is a UK headquartered blockchain bank with the aim of ‘revolutionizing the banking industry.’ Founded by Adam Cuffe and Yusuf Sozi in 2017, the bank is famous for recently buying a stake in Kenya’s Spire Bank.
The bank’s ongoing ICO is scheduled to close on October 28, 2018. But Blockbank said that a “staggering” $12,830,000 worth of their BBRT tokens had already been sold during the pre-ICO phase. Although not based in Africa, BlockBank has the African continent among its key markets – with Kenya and Uganda top of their radar.
3. Kora Networks, $12M
The New York-headquartered Kora Networks “provides the tools needed to build a self-sustaining, community-owned ecosystem for circulating and accumulating capital.” The startup, founded in 2017 by Dickson Nsofor, netted its first Seed investment in July last year.
After that, it went on to launch in Nigeria in March 2018 before putting up its token for sale in May 2018. According to its ICO Drops profile, Kora Networks raised $12,000,000 – which was its exact target – from its token sale.
According to its whitepaper, authored by Dickson Nsofor (CEO) and Maomao Hu (COO), the startup is looking at the sub-Saharan market for now before Global expansion in May 2019.
4. SureRemit, $7M
Headquartered in San Francisco, SureRemit is an “ecosystem for global non-cash remittances” on the backbone of blockchain. Currently, SureRemit lists Nigeria, Kenya, Egypt, UAE, and Saudi Arabia as the countries where they are active.
The startup, founded in 2017 by Adeoye Ojo, launched an ICO towards the end of 2017. This came to an end in January 2018 and they successfully raised $7 million from token sales. The round was led by Hashed, a “crypto assets fund, project accelerator and community builder based out in S. Korea and San Francisco.”
5. Humaniq, $5.2M
Humaniq is a London-based Fintech firm that “provides next-generation financial services using its Blockchain-based mobile application.”
Founded in December 2016 by Alex Fork, Humaniq boasts operations in at least 10 African countries with Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Rwanda and more, among them. Though they also operate in Latin and North America, Europe as well as Asia.
In April 2017, the startup announced that it had raised $5.2 million from its ICO with over 11,600 participants and an average contribution of $430.
6. Wala, $1.2M
Cape Town headquartered Wala is a “zero-fee money app” that is powered by their cryptocurrency, Dala. It is currently available in South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Uganda. Founded in 2015 by Samer Saab and Tricia Martinez, Wala raised $1.2 million from its ICO in December last year.
Yet, before that, the startup had raised an undisclosed Seed round in January 2016 in which two unidentified investors participated. This was followed by an undisclosed venture round raised in 2017 from Newton Newtown Partners – a Cape Town-based Venture Capital firm.
7. DreamBlock, $200k
Formerly known as ProsperiProp, DreamBlock was a Johannesburg based “fintech platform that makes it possible for people to own property.” Though, currently, DreamBlock lists Vancouver as their headquarters on LinkedIn and website.
Founded in 2015, the startup launched its ICO in September last year. Though, this didn’t receive a positive performance as it failed to take off and only raised around $200,000 from the selling of over 600 000 PROPX tokens through the ICO.
Llew Morkel, the co-founder CTO of the startup tweeted two weeks ago;
“Proud With a tiny amount of capital (less than $250K) our team delivered on our promise. We’ve completed dev on the Dreamblock software platform, apps, and blockchain. Busy testing followed by security hardening before we go live.”
8. Mazzuma, $45k+
Mazzuma is a mobile money settlement system that enables payment using distributed infrastructure and encryption. The Ghanaian startup raised at least $45,000 from their third token sale which ended recently.
According to the response in their official Telegram channel, the startup had sold 60,477.16 MAZ at the price of $0.75 as of September 8, 2018. Though, this was 10 days before the end of the token sale, which implies that the figure could have gone higher.
Additionally, Mazzuma had a private sale that completed in April 2018, followed by its first token sale which took place from 1st June to 30th June 2018. This was followed by a second token sale which took place from 1st July to 31st July 2018.
This list is a living document and will be updated regularly in case of any changes. In case you think there’s an error in the amounts stated above or we missed out anything, kindly send us an email to [email protected]