Valora, which already has over 200,000 users, will now be a separate company, with cLabs’ Jackie Bona serving as its CEO
Mobile-focused blockchain ecosystem Celo announced yesterday that Celo-native wallet Valora had raised $20 million in a Series A funding round which saw the participation of well-known backers such as Polychain Capital, Andreessen Horowitz and SV Angel.
Valora will now operate as a separate company and cLabs’ former Head of Consumer Growth, Jackie Bona, will serve as Valora’s CEO.
a16z General Partner, Arianna Simpson, commented, “Valora is tackling many of the friction points that have hindered the broader adoption of crypto and DeFi [decentralised finance]. It’s truly becoming the global gateway to crypto. We look forward to continuing to partner with the exceptional team at Valora as crypto becomes more mainstream and continues to scale around the world.”
By leveraging Celo’s blockchain, Valora provides normal people with access to crypto through a user-friendly interface. Users don’t need a traditional bank account, just a smartphone – even one with low internet connectivity.
They can then send crypto to pretty much any mobile phone number globally, without the need to use a complicated public key. Transaction fees can be paid with the same stable token and users always have control over their funds.
Jackie Bona said, “Consumer awareness of crypto has never been higher, and yet many people remain on the sidelines, either due to skepticism or lack of access. Valora is lowering the barrier to entry into crypto and DeFi. We believe in a world in which each individual has access to the wealth and opportunity created by this new global financial system, and Valora will strive to continue to provide greater access and build bridges to a better and more inclusive future.”
Valora has spread to more than 100 countries since its launch in February of this year and now has 53,000 monthly active users and over 200,000 users with a balance.
Businesses have also been adopting the app. Valora has been leveraged by Corsali to pay wages from digital microwork in emerging markets. Also, Impact Market has used Valora to distribute more than $4 million in aid through a private universal basic income scheme, while Grameen Foundation delivered aid to Filipino female entrepreneurs through the app during the pandemic.
Valora will continue to develop its app with the new funding, as well as increasing user confidence in crypto through educational content.
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Author: Alice Leetham