DFS Lab, an early-stage investor in Africa, in partnership with the Stellar Development Foundation, a non-profit entity that aids in the advancement and expansion of the Stellar network, has launched the DFS Lab Stellar Africa Fund I to support promising entrepreneurs and teams in Africa who seek to revolutionize the digital payments industry by leveraging the capabilities of the Stellar blockchain network.
The Stellar network is an open source, decentralized protocol for digital currency to fiat money low-cost transfers enabling cross-border transactions between any pair of currencies.
By combining the open-source network tailored for payments and asset issuance with DFS Lab’s extensive experience in supporting innovative digital commerce founders in Africa, the new fund presents a unique opportunity for builders and creators. Selected portfolio founders who receive investments from the fund will gain access to DFS Lab’s team and community as well as mentors from the Stellar Development Foundation and other companies within the Stellar ecosystem.
The DFS Lab Stellar Africa Fund I builds upon the successful blockchain bootcamp collaborations that took place between DFS Lab and the Stellar Development Foundation in the past. These collaborations provided support to African developers and startups who were building innovative products on the open-source Stellar network resulting in a diverse range of successful products.
What kind of teams is the fund looking for?
The initiative is looking to back pre-seed and seed teams in Africa building products with a variety of use cases that can leverage the Stellar network, especially those solving for fiat-crypto ramps and those building cross-border payments for the continent.
Preferably, the team is familiar with the Stellar platform and already has a working product built on it, but the fund is also open to funding teams that are not already integrated but have a clear path toward implementing it usefully on their roadmap within 6 – 12 months after we invest.
Kenyan crypto startup, Kotani Pay, was one of the winners receiving a $100,000 grant in the last bootcamp, the 11th round of Stellar community fund (SCF).
DFS Lab is also currently accepting applications for its latest 12th round of the the blockchain bootcamp.
Interested parties can apply here.
The DFS Lab portfolio includes a wide range of startup comapanies in Africa:
- Cherehani Africa
- TopUp Mama
“At DFS Lab, we have always taken a pragmatic approach when it comes to decentralized finance in Africa. It is hard to deny the potential that decentralised solutions can offer in a continent where finance is often times bogged down by inefficiency, opacity, and lack of interoperability,” said Joseph Benson, partner at DFS Lab.
“We’ve now seen a rush of talent and capital enter into this space, helping to refine the potential use cases for technologies like blockchain and crypto in Africa. Undoubtedly, some approaches will falter as hype gives way to reality, but those who break through and find traction may find themselves building foundational platforms that can underpin the future of digital transactions on the continent. We believe that’s an opportunity well worth exploring.”
Stephen Deng, partner at DFS Lab, said the new fund will back pre-seed and seed teams building for Africa.
“We’re open to various use cases, but will be especially interested in those solving for fiat-crypto ramps and those building cross-border payments for the continent. We’ll fund both teams that are familiar with the Stellar platform alongside those who want to integrate Stellar into their product roadmaps for the first time. We plan on initial investments of up to US$100,000, with further follow-on investments possible as teams grow,” said Deng.
Interested parties for the DFS Lab X Stellar Fund can apply here with applications reviewed on a rolling basis.
Follow us on Twitter for latest posts and updates
Join and interact with our Telegram community