In this article, we look at the 5 biggest Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) by startups based in Africa from 2018.
The cryptocurrency and blockchain industry continues to grow on the continent notwithstanding problems with regulation and little or no financial knowledge of consumers. In 2018 ICOs accelerated that growth by allowing African startups to raise money that will allow them to solve various problems on the continent.
According to data by Coindesk’s ICO Tracker, funding for ICOs generally improved from the average ICO size of USD 15.98 million in 2017 to USD 25.72 million in 2018. Collectively a total of USD 22.50 billion has been collected through ICOs since 2014 as at December 2018.
Currently, per our own calculations based on data provided by the same source, African ICOs contributed less than 2% to the global ICO size as at the end of 2018. Despite this, the 5 projects listed in this list achieved great success regardless of the status quo.
1. Golix – Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe-based cryptocurrency exchange platform, Golix, battled regulation issues during its ICO to be on top of this list. A company founded back in 2014, Golix launched an ICO in 2018 to fund the proper establishment of its cryptocurrency exchange and expansion to other African countries.
Golix faced problems with local regulation during their ICO when the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) issued a directive to ban cryptocurrency, causing them to suspend their token sale.
The issue was then challenged by the cryptocurrency startup based on three charges including the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) having no legal authority to ban cryptocurrencies, unfairness based on the legal principle of administrative justice and the constitutionality of the ban.
The ban was later overturned by the Harare High Court. Golix then relaunched their ICO and managed to raise $23 million USD.
Golix settled on running an ICO after they had struggled to raise venture capital even though they had raised Seed Funding of $30,000 in 2015 as well as an undisclosed round of Venture capital from an Angel Investor in December 2016.
2. Kora Network – Nigeria
Kora, led by Nigerian CEO Dickson Nsofor, got its first Seed investment in July 2017 and moved on to run an ICO in May 2018. Kora is a financial platform with the aim of enabling individuals and businesses in Africa to send and receive payments from anywhere in the world.
Kora uses Tendermint DPoS as a consensus algorithm, allowing for scalability while maintaining decentralization. The Kora blockchain is secured by the Kora Network Token (KNT).
Though headquartered in New York, Kora launched in Nigeria in March 2018 ahead of its token sale. Kora raised $12 million USD which was the soft cap of its ICO campaign, making it one of the most successful African ICOs.
3. Wala – South Africa
Wala, is a zero-fee financial services app for emerging markets, that makes use of the DALA token for transactions and peer-to-peer transfers. Wala is based in Cape Town, South Africa, and is currently available in South Africa, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.
According to the project’s website, its flagship application has over 100 thousand active users. The startup had raised an undisclosed Seed round in 2016. This was followed by an undisclosed investment round raised in 2017 by a South African-based Venture Capital firm.
Wala raised $1.2 million, a long shot away from its target of raising $30 million USD.
4. DreamBlock – South Africa
ProsperiProp now DreamBlock is a startup based in Johannesburg that provides distributed real estate asset management on the blockchain. DreamBlock uses blockchain technology, utility tokens, cloud computing, and mobile technology to make it possible for real estate asset managers to create their own fractional investment products.
The startup started its ICO in September 2017. Though this didn’t receive a confident performance as it failed to take off and only amassed around $200 thousand USD from the selling a little over 600 000 PROPX tokens.
5. Mazzuma – Ghana
Mazzuma is the third-highest ranked mobile money payments system based on transaction volume in Ghana that seeks to utilize blockchain technology through the creation of the MAZ cryptocurrency to enable instant seamless payments globally.
The MAZ Token was distributed to the public through an Initial Coin Offering in August 2018 with a token selling at $0.75 USD each. The ICO did not have very impressive results, with an estimated ICO size of a little above $100 thousand USD.
Mazzuma launched an IEO for another fundraising round in 2019.
Africa continues to grow in the cryptocurrency space, we hope to see more development in 2019.