DFS Lab and Stellar Development Foundation to Launch Africa Digital Payments Fund

DFS Lab confirmed the launch of the DFS Lab Stellar Africa Fund I, which will support high-potential builders and teams in Africa that want to change the digital payments landscape and beyond by building on the Stellar network.

A contribution from the Stellar Development Foundation makes the Fund possible.

The Fund combines DFS Lab’s years of experience helping Africa’s best digital business owners get started with the open-source Stellar network, which is best for payments and issuing assets. Portfolio founders chosen for investment by the Fund will have access to the DFS Lab team and community and mentors from the Stellar Development Foundation and Stellar ecosystem companies.

The new Fund builds on past work between DFS Lab and the Stellar Development Foundation on blockchain boot camps, which helped developers and startups in Africa build products on the open-source Stellar network.

Daniel Casanas, Head of Investments at the Stellar Development Foundation said, ‘‘We’ve seen developers build solutions on Stellar that address local needs, ranging from wallet apps and remittance services to digital identity solutions. We’ve worked with growing teams across Africa, and we’re excited to be expanding our relationship with DFS Lab to support more African founders.”

“At DFS Lab, we have always taken a pragmatic approach when it comes to decentralized finance in Africa. It is hard to deny the potential that decentralized solutions can offer in a continent where finance is oftentimes bogged down by inefficiency, opacity, and lack of interoperability,” says Joseph Benson, Partner at DFS Lab.

“We’ve now seen a rush of talent and capital enter into this space, helping to refine the potential use cases for technologies like blockchain and crypto in Africa. Undoubtedly, some approaches will falter as hype gives way to reality, but those who break through and find traction may find themselves building foundational platforms that can underpin the future of digital transactions on the continent. We believe that’s an opportunity well worth exploring.”

Speaking on what founders can look forward to from the Fund, Stephen Deng, Partner at DFS Lab summarized that, “We’ll back pre-seed and seed teams building for Africa. We’re open to various use cases, but will be especially interested in those solving for fiat-crypto ramps and those building cross-border payments for the continent. We’ll fund both teams that are familiar with the Stellar platform alongside those who want to integrate Stellar into their product roadmaps for the first time. We plan on initial investments of up to $100,000, with further follow-on investments possible as teams grow.”

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