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Nigerian Fintech Zone Secures $8.5M for Blockchain Payment Expansion

Zone, a Nigerian fintech startup, has recently secured an impressive $8.5 million in seed funding, marking a significant milestone in its journey to revolutionize the payment infrastructure across Africa. This funding round, led by Flourish Ventures and TLcom Capital, with contributions from Digital Currency Group, Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures, Alter Global, and Endeavor Catalyst, underscores the growing confidence in Zone’s mission to connect every monetary store of value and establish a regulated and decentralized global payment infrastructure.

Background and Evolution

Founded in 2008 by Obi Emetarom, Emeka Emetarom, and Wale Onawunmi, Zone began its operations under the name Appzone, offering custom software development services to commercial banks. Over the years, it evolved to provide end-to-end automation of lending operations and blockchain switching, eventually rebranding to Zone in 2022. This transition marked its focus on leveraging blockchain technology to create a decentralized payment infrastructure for financial services providers.

What is Zone?

Zone represents the next generation of payment infrastructure that leverages blockchain technology to facilitate payments and the acceptance of digital currencies. As a regulated Blockchain network, Zone is at the forefront of creating a seamless, global network designed to accommodate payments from anyone, through any means, in any currency.

Core Features of Zone:

  • Reliable Transactions: Zone’s layer-1 Blockchain technology ensures a 100% transaction success rate, whether payments are made using fiat money or digital currencies. This reliability is a cornerstone of Zone’s offering, ensuring that transactions on its network are both secure and efficient.
  • Frictionless Operations: The network is designed to ensure ease of use for end-users and service providers alike. It eliminates the need for extra efforts from service providers to support payment functionality, thereby simplifying the payment process across the board.
  • Universal Interoperability: One of Zone’s most significant features is its support for integration with all systems that store monetary value, alongside all touchpoints used to initiate payments. This universal interoperability is key to Zone’s mission, as it allows for a wide range of payment methods and use cases, facilitating a truly global payment network.
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Mission and Vision:

Zone’s mission is to connect every monetary store of value using blockchain technology. It aims to process both local and cross-border transactions initiated by customers through various digital channels and payment instruments. By doing so, Zone is not just a payment network but a comprehensive ecosystem that supports a multitude of payment methods, including accounts, cards, and mobile wallets.

Regulatory Compliance and Digital Currency Infrastructure:

Zone is the first decentralized payment network powered by blockchain to be licensed and approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria, marking a significant achievement in regulatory compliance within the African continent. This approval underscores Zone’s commitment to adhering to the highest standards of financial regulation, ensuring that its network is both secure and reliable.

The network’s blockchain infrastructure is designed to allow digital currencies to comply with regulations and interoperate with fiat currencies. This aspect of Zone’s technology is particularly crucial as it paves the way for a future where digital payments and decentralized finance (DeFi) could potentially replace traditional banking and cash transactions globally.

Zone is not just a payment network; it’s a visionary project aimed at redefining how payments are made, processed, and accepted worldwide. With its robust blockchain infrastructure, commitment to regulatory compliance, and focus on universal interoperability, Zone is poised to lead the charge towards a more inclusive, efficient, and secure global payment ecosystem.

Disclaimer

The information provided about Zone is based on the current details available in the public domain, including but not limited to the official company website, at the time of writing this article. The author, the website, or anyone associated with Industry Examiner cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies or subsequent changes in the information. Readers are advised to conduct their own due diligence and verify any information that is important to them.

The Vision and Technology

Zone’s vision is to build a Blockchain-based decentralized payment infrastructure that offers reliable, frictionless, and universally interoperable payment experiences at scale. Its Layer-1 blockchain network is Africa’s first regulated blockchain network for payments, connecting over 20 of the continent’s biggest commercial banks, fintechs, and OFIs. The technology aims to increase transaction processing capacity by 20x, ensuring resilience against instability and downtime.

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Zone's $8.5M Seed Funding Boosts Africa's Payment Infrastructure

The Funding and Its Implications

The $8.5 million seed funding is a testament to investor confidence in Zone’s innovative approach to payment infrastructure. The funds will be used to expand the network’s coverage domestically, connect more banks and financial services companies, and conduct a comprehensive pilot program to test cross-border capabilities. This investment not only highlights Zone’s potential to redefine payment infrastructure in Africa but also positions it as a frontrunner in the continent’s fintech revolution.

Strategic Partnerships and Future Plans

Zone’s strategic partnerships with leading VC firms and investors bring a wealth of global perspective, networks of industry influencers, and extensive fintech expertise. These collaborations are crucial for Zone’s expansion into new markets and its goal of becoming a global payment network. With plans to support DeFi and digital currencies, Zone is poised to play a pivotal role in the transition to digital payments and the broader adoption of blockchain technology in financial services.

Conclusion

Zone’s successful seed funding round marks a significant milestone in its mission to revolutionize Africa’s payment infrastructure. By harnessing the power of blockchain technology, Zone is not only enhancing transaction efficiency and reliability but also paving the way for a future where digital payments and decentralized finance transform the financial landscape. As Zone continues to expand its network and capabilities, it stands at the forefront of Africa’s fintech innovation, promising a more connected and efficient payment ecosystem for the continent.

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