Nigerian fintech startup Canza Finance has just raised $3.27 million in a seed funding round. The raise was led by blockchain-focused venture capital firm Fenbushi Capital along with a slew of other investors.
The company was founded by telecom experts Pascal Ntsama and Oyedeji Oluwoye, who serve as CEO and CTO respectively. The team’s mission is to provide a decentralized financial system to the underserved in Africa and around the world.
This latest round of funding will enable Canza to expand its service in Nigeria and other growth regions including Asia and South America.
“Today, we stand at a critical juncture in the journey to democratizing finance, with Nigeria emerging at the vanguard of crypto adoption globally,” said Oyedeji Oluwoye, co-founder and CTO of Canza Finance.
“Against a backdrop of high inflation, financial instability, and barriers to access of traditional financial services, sub-Saharan Africa’s underdeveloped financial infrastructure has made the region a perfect vector for decentralized finance — according to a 2021 report by KPMG, more than 1 in 3 Nigerian adults are excluded from traditional finance,” he added.
Canza will depend on a robust network of knowledgeable local money market stakeholders to administer financial and transaction-based services to African members in Sub-Saharan African countries. Canza boasts seamless crypto on/off-ramp services that will allow various DeFi services, such as staking, P2P, and cross-border settlements, to assist in a fully decentralized financial system.
By capitalizing on the open-source devices of the Cardona blockchain using digital solutions, Canza joins the rank of other crypto-native solutions that will enhance through Adaverse. The company will extend strategic mentorship and development support to aid a thriving Web3 and Cardano-based ecosystem in Africa for the forthcoming years.
“Our vision is to become leaders in decentralized finance and to spearhead this movement to offer financial freedom to millions of individuals. The tremendous interest and backing of our investors and strategic partners will enable us to grow the world-class Canza team, improve our security, and most importantly, take a definitive leadership position in our target markets,” said Oluwoye.
Canza will allow Foreign Exchange (FX) traders to acquire capital, undergo a streamlined automation process, and have a high yield vault for their local currency exchange transactions. Canza will have the first NeoBank for African Businesses able to support cryptocurrency for global commerce and FX trading.
“The rate of cryptocurrency adoption in high-growth markets—in particular Africa—not only signals growing excitement for this new digital economy but the advance of real-world use cases. This traction, combined with Sub-Saharan Africa’s market, social and community conditions, uniquely positions it as an environment where a project like Canza will thrive,” said Bo Shen, Managing Partner at Fenbushi Capital.
Before this funding round, Canza was financed by Flori Ventures in its pre-funding round, and through its participation in the Filecoin Launchpad Accelerator, Powered by Tachyon.
“Canza is a shining example of the power of the Filecoin Launchpad Accelerator to transform promising early-stage projects into high-growth businesses on the brink of making a huge impact in developing markets and the Web3 ecosystem,” said Colin Evran, the Ecosystem Lead at Protocols Labs.
Given the early traction of Canza, we are delighted to help expand access to Web3 technologies like decentralized identity tools and KYC options to the sub-Saharan Africa region. We’re excited to help the next cohort of African innovators turn their visions for Web 3.0 into reality,” he added.
It comes as Nigeria’s banking division is still recovering from the 2008 financial crisis. The country’s economy has affected the banking sector as it copes with a dwindling gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate, increased inflation, high unemployment rates, and the inconsistent value of the naira-to-dollar exchange rates brought on by precarious oil costs, according to McKinsey and Company.
The management consulting firm concluded that for Nigerian banks to thrive, they need to focus on expanding capital faster than the speed of inflation and devaluation of the nation’s currency, which provides an immense opportunity for a new fintech organization called Canza Finance.
Founded in 2020, Canza Finance’s goal is for the organization to become the most extensive non-institutional-based financial system for Nigeria and other regions like South America and Asia.
Main image: Canza Finance co-founders Pascal Ntsama and Oyedeji Oluwoye,