Jambo raises $7.5M from Coinbase, Alameda research to build ‘Web3 super app’ of Africa
Jambo, a Congo-based start-up building Africa’s web3 user acquisition portal through “learn, play, earn” and democratizing access to crypto-based income-generation opportunities, has raised $7.5 million in seed funding.
The mix of positives, such as a fast-growing population the youngest globally solid smartphone penetration and increasing crypto adoption, and negatives like low GDP per capita across the board and unemployment makes Africa the next ripe ground for web3.
And a few companies, such as Jambo, are positioning themselves for this next boom. According to James Zhang, its co-founder and CEO, Jambo wants to onboard millions of users to web3 in Africa through its applications.
He founded the company with his sister both Congo-born Chinese in November 2021 after noticing the opportunity to duplicate the success of web3 projects in Southeast Asia across Africa.
Road Map of Jambo
Since the start of this year, Jambo has already signed up more than 12,000 students across 14 countries (Morocco, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Congo, Uganda, Rwanda, DR Congo, Tanzania, Zambia, Namibia, Madagascar and South Africa) to take a curated web3 curriculum, both online and offline.
The company said this would enable students to explore opportunities in play-to-earn gaming and decentralized finance (DeFi). The 10-week programs are available at colleges and across 600+ physical partner locations where hundreds of ambassadors sign up students.
With nearly 60% of the population under 24 years of age and almost 50% of university graduates in Africa unemployed, Jambo believes its model of educating users about play-to-earn games and DeFi could “lead to financial prosperity in ways Africans could never have accessed before.”
Educating Africa’s young population about web3 and decentralization seems to be a correlating theme with recent web3 upstarts in Africa. Nigeria-based Nestcoin, for instance, raised $6.4 million to scale its web3 initiatives, which include Breach, a media outlet that creates bite-sized and informative crypto content for its users.
Jambo expects to release its beta version by Q2 and go live in Q3. And in a bid to build its super app, the 60-man team spread across sub-Saharan Africa, Santa Clara and Shenzhen raised a party round from investors who have backed prominent web3 companies such as Avalanche, Dharma, BlockFi and Polygon.
They include Coinbase Ventures, Three Arrows Capital (3AC), Alameda Research, Tiger Global, Delphi Ventures, Alliance DAO, Defiance Capital, Yield Guild Games and Polygon Studiosl, and several angel investors from the web3 ecosystem, like Polygon co-founder and CEO Sandeep Nailwal; ex-ParaFi partner Santiago R Santos; Terraform Labs co-founder and CEO Do Kwon; and partner at Delphi Digital, Piers Kicks.
“What WeChat did in China, Jambo will do in Africa. Excited to back this A+ team in becoming the Web3 super app of the continent,” said Santiago R Santos, a web3 investor and ex-ParaFi partner, in a statement.