EchoVC, a venture capital firm headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, has announced its maiden blockchain fund ‘EchoVC Chain,’ with a budget of $8 million. The fund is being piloted to support under-represented founders and under-served markets.
“Over the past few years at EchoVC, we have become intrigued with blockchains. The more we explored, and learned, the more excited we’ve become about the applications of blockchain and its functions in Africa,” EchoVC said.
The venture firm, whose objective is to become ‘the Sequoia Capital for under-estimated founders and markets,’ has already invested in nearly 40 companies across different global markets and made its initial investment in the blockchain industry in 2021.
Since 2021 when it made its first blockchain bet, the firm has grown its blockchain portfolio to 7, across 3 sectors namely B2B infrastructure, DeFi (B2C), and market making.
Its portfolio companies include:
- Muda (Africa)
- OneLiquidity (Africa)
- FuhlStack (Africa)
- Fonbnk (Africa)
- Stakefair (Africa)
- Odum Research (Africa / Global)
Areas of Focus
For its pilot seed fund, EchoVC says it has three main areas of interest, stemming from the blockchain’s ability ‘to abstract/tokenize, and the ability to scale autonomously.
“For African markets, we believe blockchain functionality is more of a need, rather than a want, and our thesis is to leverage these functions to enable new leapfrogs, or unlock novel market opportunities, across the continent.”
1.) The firm will mainly be looking at fintech infrastructure including infrastructure leveraging stablecoins to optimize payments, liquidity, and treasury. In addition, it is looking at startups ‘exploring the unbundling and delivery of crypto/fintech building blocks, or ‘primitives’ – which other companies can utilize to scale faster.’
2.) The second area of focus is on blockchain functionality where EchoVC has pointed out DeFi and NFT. According to the firm, DeFi functionality can be leveraged in Africa for innovative financial products improving access to credit and savings, or perhaps powering new-age decentralized neobanks.
“NFTs can serve to foster the creator economy for the rising Gen-Z, enable games to provide new ways to earn, or even fractionalize real-world assets and portfolios to lower affordability barriers to investments.”
3.) Lastly EchoVC has mentioned DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations) which are attractive because of their ablity to scale autonously and organize human networks, such as Africa’s social collectives and informal networks.
“DAOs can organize the offline and informal networks in a way that is beneficial for all participants. This should unlock labor liquidity and increase earning potential for the bottom-of-the-pyramid demographics. Other examples include decentralized agent networks, social networks, as well as gig networks.”
While the focus may be on three main areas, the firm adds that they continue to explore other areas ranging from digital identity, privacy, decentralized infrastructure edge nodes and agile supply chains to a possible future intersection between AI/ML and DAOs.
Submit a proposal via this link: https://bit.ly/EchoVC-Pilot
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