Echovc Launches $8m “Pilot” Blockchain-Focused Seed Fund
The Lagos-based VC firm is a technology-focused early-stage VC firm focused on investing in underrepresented founders and underserved markets.
EchoVC has launched EchoVC Chain, an US$8 million “pilot” blockchain-focused seed fund. EchoVC Chain is a US$8 million pilot seed fund focused on investing in founders and startups spanning EchoVC’s specific areas of interest. The company has been excited with two capabilities of blockchain – the ability to abstract or tokenize and the ability to scale autonomously.
“Over the past few years at EchoVC, we have become intrigued with blockchains. The more we explored and learned, the more excited we’ve become about blockchain applications and their functions in Africa,” EchoVC said.
“For African markets, we believe blockchain functionality is more of a need than a want, and our thesis is to leverage these functions to enable new leapfrogs or unlock novel market opportunities across the continent,” EchoVC added.
“However, our perspective on blockchain applications in Africa traverses multiple layers. Our first layer of focus is on foundational fintech infrastructure. This includes infrastructure leveraging stablecoins to optimize payments, liquidity, and treasury; and also explores the unbundling and delivery of crypto/fintech building blocks, or “primitives” – which other companies can utilize to scale faster,” EchoVC said.
“The second layer above this targets blockchain functionality. DeFi functionality can be leveraged in Africa for innovative financial products improving access to credit and savings or perhaps powering new-age decentralized neobank. NFTs can serve to foster the creator economy for the rising Gen-Z, enable games to provide new ways to earn, or even fractionalized real-world assets and portfolios to lower affordability barriers to investments.”
“Examples in Africa are social collectives and informal markets, which are key strands of Africa’s offline economic fabric. DAOs can organize the offline and informal networks in a way that benefits all participants. This should unlock labour liquidity and increase earning potential for the bottom-of-the-pyramid demographics. Other examples include decentralized agent networks, social networks, and gig networks,” the company said.
“Looking beyond this, we continue to explore other emerging blockchain aspects ranging from digital identity, privacy, decentralised infrastructure edge nodes and agile supply chains to a possible future intersection between AI/ML and DAOs. On the regulatory side, we continue to observe the evolving landscape.”
“Our view is that regulation is required and will have a positive impact to help guide innovation, improve stability, and remove frictions that still exist between decentralized and centralised worlds. One aspect that we are tremendously excited about is the advent of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) as the digital version of cash – channelled through the banking system – to remove friction in access to financial products, streamline cross-border payments, and enable programmable local money.”