We launched a blockchain bootcamp in partnership with SDF to support the boom of blockchain and crypto activities across the African continent and we were not disappointed with the results. Nine companies participated and each earned an award valued at:
Each company spent the week at our virtual bootcamp going through the design sprint process with the guidance of a mentor and with access to technical support from Stellar developers. At the end of the week, everyone came together for our virtual demo day with select investors invited to join the audience. Check out the award results and demos below to get excited about blockchain’s role in African fintech.
HoneyCoin is a decentralized monetization and P2P platform for African creators and consumers. During the bootcamp, they built a direct integration into Stellar’s Horizon API and anchor protocols in order to support secure non-custodial wallets for their consumers as well as interfaced with adapters to allow users to link their existing wallets. They also built a first-of-its-kind proprietary ‘Fast Checkout’ experience on all HoneyCoin payment links for fungible and non-fungible assets with an in-built escrow engine, allowing consumers to make and authenticate payments with a simple 4-digit one-time password. Creators and merchants get paid in fiat through Stellar anchors without ever having to login to their accounts.
With Stellar, they were able to begin and complete their integration during the bootcamp week and are already able to allow users in Kenya, Tanzania, and the US to interact with Stellar and the fiat world through Stellar anchors at a fraction of the cost that would incur paying gas fees or transaction costs on other networks. See their demo here.
Developed by Hover Developer Services, Inc., Stax is a universal money app for Africa that enables users to access all their money (bank, crypto, and mobile money) in one place without using mobile data. By building a USDC store of value on Stellar for their wallet and leveraging Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) – a legacy GSM channel that Africans who own a smartphone choose to transact “offline” on – in the background, Stax offers “offline” crypto and DeFi to make its wallet interface a truly universal money app for the continent.
Stellar will help them enable a self-custody, multi-token wallet within Stax, starting with USDC. For Stax users, USDC is a safe first step to the worlds of crypto and DeFi, where they aim to help users protect and invest their hard-earned money. See the demo here.
Bonafide is a wallet that lets users save and win prizes weekly in dollars. During the bootcamp, they built a dollar savings app for the African Diaspora, since Stellar provides them with the ability to spin up USDC wallets affordably. Bonafide aims to evolve into a digital dollar wallet that allows Africans to send, receive, save and invest money.
They launched a digital bank for migrants in the US which saw 70% of signups from Africa. However, the US banking infrastructure they deployed did not support Africans. This sort of exclusion is typical of large western fintechs, and they are on a mission to change that. See the demo here.
WindPay is a super-app aiming to be the Alipay for Africa, helping users access various services and make payments online and offline in Ethiopia. During the bootcamp, WindPay built an app for ride hailing drivers, enabling them to buy ride credits.
Stellar will enable them to provide multiple wallets to hold various currencies in one application. Achieving this will ease expansion to other African countries and their ability to scale and diversify the services they provide. See their demo here.
Pesapeer is a money transfer company based in Canada that helps customers facilitate remittance payments to their loved ones in Africa. During the bootcamp, Pesapeer built an end-to-end instant remittance service built on the Stellar network, leveraging Stellar anchors to facilitate remittances into the countries these anchors support.
Pesapeer also plans to become a Stellar anchor themselves to help facilitate payments and remittances in and out of Canada. See their demo here.
Gravity empowers individuals like merchants, farmers, and gig-workers to create portable and persistent digital identities for financial access, in addition to providing an embedded financing solution for supply chains. Merchants in Nairobi use Gravity to bring together data from their suppliers, credit scores, and verified identity. They can then share this with a lender to access earmarked credit for stock purchases.
During the bootcamp, Gravity built a prototype that allows merchants to receive loans for business purchases from crowdfunded pools. Individual lenders contribute funds to a liquidity pool for certain periods of time and earn interest. Thanks to Gravity’s decentralization and transparency, lenders know what the funds in each pool are being used for and can verify how many merchants received funds under which condition. See their demo here.
Fonbnk is a DeFi company that enables billions of prepaid mobile subscribers in the global unbanked/underbanked south to participate in the global digital economy. During the bootcamp, Fonbnk built a prepaid airtime-to-virtual wallet gateway.
In order to drive accessibility of the Fonbnk marketplace, they need to provide their users with low-cost, high throughput blockchain applications. With Stellar, they created a bridge between their USDC gateway and the Stellar ecosystem. See the demo here.
‘Women first’ and focused on SDG 9.3 and SDG 8.3, Quidroo is an online factoring platform where transactions are streamlined and SMEs get paid within 72 hours by selling their invoices to investors to get fast cash at favorable rates. During the bootcamp, Quidroo built an invoice selling platform where sellers can cash in on their invoices from verified vendors.
Stellar will allow them to provide access to users anywhere in the world through integration with various Stellar anchors. These users will be able to withdraw and deposit in their local currency using Stellar path payments, in addition to initiating transactions and raising invoices through Stellar’s distributed blockchain ledger. See the demo here.
DyaPay is a fintech platform building remittance, cross border payment and payment processing solutions for businesses to get paid online. In addition, they offer their users access to financial products they were excluded from before through Decentralized Finance. During the bootcamp, DyaPay built a prototype for customers to send a payment using the Stellar network.
Stellar makes it easy to create and transfer digital representations of money within an anchor’s ecosystem for a very low transaction fee. By providing an open source blockchain network, a faster transaction speed, and tools to build digital applications, Stellar solves the problem of moving value transparently, instantly, and in a cost-effective way. See the demo here.
Each project demonstrated an impressive level of thinking, and we’re excited to see where these projects go from here. If you’re interested to learn more about getting involved with our bootcamps, either as a participant or as a mentor, follow us on Twitter @TheDFSLab and LinkedIn for upcoming opportunities, and subscribe to our newsletter.