NIGERIA – Chipper Cash, an African cross-border payments company, has secured US$150 million in a Series C extension round valuing the company at US$2billion.

The round was led by Sam Bankman-Fried’s cryptocurrency exchange platform FTX. SVB Capital, as well as other previous investors such as Deciens Capital, Ribbit Capital, Bezos Expeditions, One Way Ventures, and Tribe Capital, reinvested in this extension round.

The investment comes only six months after Chipper Cash raised US$100 million in its first Series C round. The company’s entire Series C capital is US$250 million, but it has raised more than US$305 million to date.

Ham Serunjogi and Maijid Moujaled founded Chipper Cash in 2018 to provide a no-fee peer-to-peer cross-border payment service in Africa via their app. Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Africa, and Kenya are among the countries that use its services.

This year, the company began to expand beyond the continent. It extended to the United Kingdom in May, letting users send money from the European country to Chipper Cash’s African marketplaces.

Chipper Cash’s strategy is to provide the “best pricing” while simultaneously facilitating money transfers from Africa to the United States.

According to Serunjogi, peer-to-peer money transfers from the United States to Nigeria and Uganda are now available to customers in those countries. Before the end of the year, the service will be available to customers in Ghana, South Africa, and Kenya.

Earlier this year, Chipper Cash forayed into social payments by partnering with Twitter to offer payment for the social media platform’s Tip Jar feature for African users. The Tip Jar feature was launched early this year to allow Twitter users receive money “tip” directly on the platform.

Chipper Cash is FTX’s first investment in Africa. A move that hints that FTX is impressed by how Chipper Cash has been able to scale in the space of three years and its interest in the crypto space. Chipper Cash boasts of having over 4 million users across the world.

The investment will see FTX partner with Chipper Cash to make money transfer as simple as a text message and accelerate the adoption of crypto within Africa and beyond.

“Despite the recent growth in Africa, moving money across the continent is still slow and expensive. Unsurprisingly it is the fastest growing market with grassroots crypto adoption,” Bankman-Fried, FTX CEO, said.

As a result of this partnership, FTX will increase its footprint in Africa and Chipper Cash will be integrated into the FTX product so that African users can fund their crypto wallet through Chipper Cash.

“That’s going to be a compelling use case for both of our companies as we keep scaling and as FTX keeps scaling their geographical coverage. They do some of the most innovative work in the crypto space, so working with them is going to be quite exciting,” Serunjogi said.

Within the past year, startups like Nigerian open banking platform Mono, neobank Kuda and automotive tech company Autochek have raised successive rounds indicating investors’ huge appetite for African tech, especially fintech.

According to Techrunch, the sector remains the most funded on the continent. It has produced the most unicorns, with Chipper Cash — the most valuable startup on the continent alongside OPay — officially becoming the fourth this year after Flutterwave, OPay and Wave. It’s the fifth overall unicorn after tech talent company Andela reached the status in late September.

In general, however, the continent has six current unicorns, including Interswitch, a fintech giant that attained a billion-dollar valuation in 2019.

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