Congo’s Crypto Startup, Jambo Secures $30M in Paradigm–led series A to Power Web3 across Africa

Congo’s Crypto Startup, Jambo Secures $30M in Paradigm–led series A to Power Web3 across Africa

Jambo Technology, a Congo-based crypto startup that leverages “learn, play, earn” to democratize access to crypto-based income-generation options for Africans, has secured $30 million in a Series A funding round led by Paradigm, a crypto-focused venture firm to make web3 products more accessible to Africans.

Paradigm which made its first investment on the continent was joined in the round by several other investors like ParaFi Capital, Pantera Capital, Delphi Ventures, Kingsway Capital, Gemini Frontier Fund, BH Digital, Graticule Asset Management Asia, Shima Capital, Morningstar Ventures, and others. This funding is on the heels of Jambo’s $7.5 million seed round raised from Coinbase Ventures, Alameda Research, and Tiger Global, among others.

James and Alice Zhang, who are siblings, co-founded Jambo six months ago to bring Web3, a blockchain-based version of the internet, to Africa. They want to create a hub for Africa’s entire digital economy.

“We hope to become the super app of Africa, similarly to what WeChat has done in China in the last decade,” James said.

The funds will be used to improve the product suite and broaden the company’s geographic reach across Africa. The founders have assembled a 100-person team and opened offices in 15 countries, including Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa, where Jambo is partnering with thousands of internet cafes and college booths to improve student access to computers and high-speed internet, and its ambassadors are offering 10-week Web 3 courses. The startup intends to have a presence in 15 more locations and over 200,000 active community members by the end of the year.

 “One city at a time, we’re building local grassroots networks of ambassadors that cater our educational programs to each community, and we’ve reached some exciting milestones over the last couple of months, including Opening Jambo offices across the continent for our on-the-ground operations; Partnering with thousands of internet cafes and college booths to provide Web3 students access to computers and high-speed internet; Garnering interest from thousands of people in Africa to test and use the Jambo Web3 super app that we’re building,” the CEO, said.

Jambo

James Zhang, CEO and, co-founder

Casey Caruso, the Investment Partner at Paradigm, said “As Paradigm’s first investment in Africa, we couldn’t be more excited to partner with the Jambo team in this next phase of growth. We see massive Web3 potential in Africa and it’s clear that James and Alice are uniquely positioned to build a durable on-ramp for the continent.”

“Axie has been a really good example of how you can onboard a region through play-to-earn,” said Casey who has also helped the firm’s investment into Axie Infinity’s creator Sky Mavis. “We think of play-to-earn as just the beginning for Africa and specifically the beginning for Jambo,” he explained.

With over 70% of the sub-Saharan Africa population under the age of 30 and ever-growing smartphone penetration and the third-fastest growing cryptocurrency economy, according to blockchain intelligence firm Chainalysis, the market opportunity is massive for Jambo.

To be a super app, you must become a one-stop shop for all things crypto. While Jambo is currently testing a dozen play-to-earn games, including Axie Infinity, to see if they can meet local data bandwidth requirements, the firm is also working on a non-custodial wallet that will allow users to send and swap cryptocurrencies while also earning a return on their investments. It has over 30,000 signups and is set to start in the third quarter of this year.

Many technical specifics, such as the specifications of Jambo’s token, which will likely hit the market alongside the main product, are still being worked out, but Zhang points out that the wallet is being built on Polygon, a popular Ethereum scaling layer. Sandeep Nailwal, co-founder and CEO of Polygon, and Polygon Studios, the project’s gaming and NFT branch participated in Jambo’s first funding round.

Jambo is also developing the AfricaDAO investment fund to track the continent’s crypto growth. “We want to empower and invest in entrepreneurs who share our vision and goal to have a long-term good influence on millions of people across Africa,” Zhang added.

Blessed Frank

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