African crypto exchange MARA snags $23 mn; CASi, Radar get strategic backers

 African crypto exchange MARA snags $23 mn; CASi, Radar get strategic backers

MARA, a pan-African crypto exchange, said Thursday it has wrapped up a seed round worth $23 million in equity and token sale from multiple investors including Coinbase Ventures, Alameda Research and Distributed Global.

Others who participated in the funding round include TQ Ventures, DIGITAL, Nexo, Huobi Ventures, Day One Ventures, Infinite Capital and DAO Jones, besides several crypto investors.

The startup has operations in Kenya and Nigeria. It was founded a year ago by CEO Chi Nnadi. Its founding team also includes former executives from Amazon, PayPal, Uber and Nvidia.

The company is looking to unveil a consumer crypto-brokerage app in a few weeks. It is also looking to launch a blockchain and platform backed with native MARA tokens for building decentralized applications later this year. Besides, it plans to create an exchange for sophisticated traders.

Radar

Mobile payments provider SnapScan has acquired South African HR and payroll startup Radar for an undisclosed amount.

This marks an interesting transaction for Radar founders Kobus Ehlers and Gerrit Greeff, who also happen to be the co-founders of SnapScan. The duo’s previous venture was acquired by Standard Bank a little over five years ago and is currently housed under Firepay. They had teamed up with Richard Oakley to float Radar three years ago.

Firepay itself had been a strategic backer of Radar.

CASi

Automobile Association of South Africa (AA) said it has acquired a 30% stake in the mobile security service CASi for an undisclosed amount.

CASi is a personalised security app that offers on-demand security service. It was created under a six-year-old Gauteng-based company Limitless Virtual Security.

“We’ve essentially been in the mobile response business throughout our 92-year history – people on the road need help, call us, and we assist them – so this is a natural extension of the services we offer. Buying a significant stake in CASi shows our commitment to the business and the service they provide and underscores our trust in a product that can genuinely mean the difference between life and death,” said Willem Groenewald, AA’s chief executive.

Vivek Sinha

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