African online money transfer firm raises over $1m


Valentina Vitali
Valentina Vitali
FXC Intelligence Research Analyst
Valentina is a Research Analyst at FXC Intelligence, the data sister company of FXcompared. Valentina is passionate about payments and fintech. Valentin enjoys analysing money transfer companies and… Read more
  • Afriex, which is a fast-growing start-up based in sub-Saharan Africa, has raised more than US$1m in a funding round from major names such as A$AP Capital and SoftBank Opportunity Fund.
  • The firm is currently offering crypto-backed online money transfers in markets such as Kenya, the US and Canada – and has offices in San Francisco and Lagos.
  • One of the founders of the firm, Tope Alabi, said that he was interested in the sector after his own personal childhood experience of making cash transfers involving Nigeria.

A provider of international money transfers based in sub-Saharan Africa has announced that a fundraising round has netted the firm around US$1.2m.

Afriex, which was formerly part of the Y Combinator (YC) start-up environment, said that it had raised the money daily from Launch Africa, which operates across the continent.

Other backers involved in the round include A$AP Capital, SoftBank Opportunity Fund, Future Africa, Brightstone VC, Uncommon Ventures and Processus Capital.

Transfers made via Afriex are free of fees and are sent in real time.

It is possible to send money home via the app, and cash deposits are also possible.

The firm is also partly cryptocurrency-based and has a focus on what are known as ‘stablecoins’ – versions of popular digital currencies that are backed by the US dollar.

This allows it to bypass typical financial institutions.

Afriex says that it is now handling millions of dollars every single month as part of its remittances work.

It operates in a number of major African economies, including Kenya and Nigeria.

The firm also allows for transfers to be made in the US and Canada.

The company maintains offices in San Francisco and Lagos, Nigeria.

In a statement, one of the founders of the company shared his own experiences of not being able to make the efficient remittances that he wanted to do.

Tope Alabi, who founded the firm alongside John Obirije back in 2019, spent time in multiple countries as a child.

He said that his own memories of money transfers involving Nigeria in particular inspired him to move into the sector.

“We would go back home every two years and even then, I would always take note of what was missing and what could be improved,” he said.

“I would find myself having to pay for foreign expenses with money that was sitting in a US bank account,” he explained.

He went on to say that the cross-border payments provision that did exist at that time was not sufficient for his needs.

“Traditional remittance companies were so slow and expensive that I knew I could do it better with crypto,” he said.

“Remittance is the best and most important use case for crypto,” he added.

Those who are on the hunt for a new online money transfer provider can rely on us to provide the information required – just have a glance at our reviews pages to learn more.

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