Bloc, a new fund unveiled earlier this week, aims to raise EUR 100 million to invest in companies that use new technologies, in particular blockchain, to benefit the low- and middle-income populations in emerging markets. Bloc has already received EUR 10 million from the government of Togo and Moeda Seeds Bank.
The new fund, announced on Monday at the African CEO Forum in Kigali, Rwanda, is an initiative of Bamboo Capital Partners, the government of Togo and Moeda, and will focus on five key sectors: financial inclusion, energy, education, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and healthcare.
The fund will be managed by Bamboo. Moeda, a Brazilian micro-finance, blockchain company, will contribute its technology and expertise to provide investors with traceability of their investments. The fund will accept and invest in both conventional currencies and cryptocurrencies, using a know-your-customer (KYC) platform to convert the latter into either EUR or USD.
“Moeda has partnered with Bamboo and the government of Togo because it provides us with an opportunity to expand our highly successful business model on a global scale,” said Taynaah Reis, CEO, founder and chairwoman of Moeda Seeds Bank.
“Moeda has a successful track record scaling projects using blockchain, which provides both efficiency and transparency.”
Launched in 2017 at a United Nations hackathon, Moeda has built an ecosystem that uses blockchain technology to connect investors with community-owned enterprises and provide the means for alternative financing, knowledge, resource exchange, and collective action.
The company’s technology allows for the creation of trustworthy, immutable records, as well as cost-saving operational efficiencies that enables affordable lending, optimizes accountability, monitoring, measuring results and impact.
In August 2017, the startup raised US$20 million in an initial coin offering (ICO).
Commenting on the Bloc fund launch, Togo’s minister of posts, digital economy and tech innovation, Cina Lawson, said he hopes the initiative will attract innovative international companies developing tech solutions to help improve the living conditions of people in Togo and across Africa. He added that the fund will also help support Togo’s local tech entrepreneurs in growing their businesses, providing them with capital and tech expertise.
“Through this first loss commitment in the fund, the president of Togo, his excellency Mr. Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe, proves his willingness to foster the development of tech companies which are focused on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals,” Lawson said.
“Bloc demonstrates Togo’s leadership in Africa in pioneering new technologies and blockchain to generate positive social impact, fully in line with the third pillar of its National Development plan which aims at consolidating social development and strengthening inclusion mechanism.”