24 October 2022. As part of the Celo Foundation’s global mission to create a more inclusive global financial system, the nonprofit organisation launched the Celo Africa Web3 Fund in July to help scale African startup projects building on Celo in support of blockchain technology and Web3 adoption. Following recent workshops in Nairobi and Lagos, Celo’s next workshop will take place in Kampala, Uganda on 8 November 2022.
The new fund builds on Celo’s existing presence in Africa and targets various verticals in the financial innovation space, including payments, remittances, savings, and lending. The Foundation engages in meet-ups with local developer communities in the African region through ambassadors and pioneers projects focusing on microwork and decentralized finance (DeFi) lending. The fund is open to all Africa-based startup applicants; founders who are residents of the continent will be given preferential review.
“There’s great potential for Web3 adoption by startups in Uganda and across the continent, which is undeterred by the bear market,” says Umar Sebyala, Uganda Lead at the Celo Foundation. The Celo ecosystem is seeing continued momentum for building meaningful use cases in the East African region, from e-commerce marketplaces to projects for climate action”.
Some of the confirmed speakers for the Uganda workshop include members of Celo’s Alliance for Prosperity, such as Noah Baalesanvu (Cryptosavannah), Peter Kakoma (Kanzu Code), and Reginald Tumusiime (Capital Savvy).
The Celo Africa Web3 Fund introduces startups to equity investors from venture capital (VC) firms, including Unicorn Growth Capital, Echo VC, Uncovered Fund, and Flori Ventures, a seed-stage VC who invests in the Celo ecosystem. The Celo Developer Guild also provides technical assistance alongside partners, such as blockchain development platform Tatum, and Ape Unit, a network of creators, strategists, developers, and designers.
Further benefits provided by the fund include in-person workshops, mentorships with the Celo Foundation Research & Innovation team, and marketing support. Fund applicants can also apply for membership to the Alliance for Prosperity to collaborate directly with mission-aligned organizations fostering social impact and financial inclusion on Celo.
The first Celo Africa Web3 Fund workshop took place in Nairobi, Kenya on 26 July and was attended by over 40 startup applicants, followed by a workshop in Lagos, Nigeria on 23 August.
Celo is a carbon-negative, permissionless, layer-1 protocol with a rich ecosystem of global partners building innovative Web3 applications within the DeFi, ReFi, and NFT sectors on Celo in support of its community’s mission to create a more inclusive global financial system. Accessible to anyone with a mobile phone, the Celo ecosystem consists of a decentralized, proof-of-stake blockchain technology stack (the Celo Protocol), the CELO token, and several Mento Protocol stable assets (cUSD, cEUR, cREAL) that make it easy for anyone to use crypto like cash or other types of currency––every day. Launched on Earth Day in 2020, the open source Celo mainnet now supports 1000+ projects created by developers and artists located around the world. For more information, please visit the Celo Foundation.
FAQ for Applicants
How do I apply to the program?
Please visit the Celo Africa Web3 Fund website to register your interest. You will receive an invitation to participate, alongside an investor survey to assess your fit for the program investors.
Do I need to be based in Africa?
No, but preference will be given to founders and businesses resident on the continent. For those physically residing outside of Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana or South Africa, participants will be provided with a link to access the event online.
What does a successful applicant receive from the program?
Successful applicants will be granted benefits, including, but not limited to, mentorship, technical support, potential equity investment and marketing support. Please visit our website for more information.
How many applicants will be selected per country and in total?
Up to 50 applicants will be selected per workshop (which will be held in Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa). All successful applicants will have access to our workshop content and introductions to VCs.
When and where will workshops take place?
Workshops will take place in Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa, between July 2022 and early 2023. Please visit the Celo Africa Web3 Fund website for more information.
What is the size of the investments or grant(s)?
Investment and grant size will vary.