You are currently viewing Nigerian Blockchain FinTech Startup ZONE raises $8.5 Seed

Nigerian Blockchain FinTech Startup ZONE raises $8.5 Seed

The region of Sub-Saharan Africa is burdened with the highest remittance costs globally. Even sending $200 to the region has increased in cost; according to the World Bank, the average cost increased from 7.2% in Q2 2022 to 7.9% in Q2 2023.

The erstwhile fintech software firm Appzone Group took a 180-degree turn with the introduction of Zone and Qore, its Banking-as-a-Service division, which was later split off into a distinct standalone business in 2022, in an effort to completely transform this market.

“With this transition to Zone, we are utilising the power of blockchain technology to connect every monetary store of value and enable reliable, frictionless and universally interoperable payments. In doing this we are building one global network to pay anyone through any means, in any currency, which will ultimately maximise financial inclusion and accelerate economic prosperity for Africa and the rest of the world,” Obi Emetarom, Zone’s co-founder and CEO said.

Zone is a controlled blockchain network created to expedite the acceptance and transactions of digital currencies. Utilizing Africa’s first Layer-1 blockchain network, the system promises to reduce transaction costs, enable rapid dispute resolution, and improve payment reliability both within and outside of Africa. It also facilitates direct transactions between financial institutions.
More than fifteen African institutions and fintech firms, including as Access Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, and United Bank of Africa, have already joined Zone, demonstrating the innovation’s growing traction. Zone just raised $8.5 million in an oversubscribed seed fundraising round led by TLcom Capital and Flourish Ventures in order to further accelerate growth.
Prominent blockchain venture capital firms included in the round included Alter Global, Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures, and Digital Currency Group.

“The startup was funded initially by the parent company. When you separate the traditional business, the natural thing to do is to raise money to continue growth,” Emetarom said.

Zone’s expansion goals will be fueled by this funding. First off, more banks and financial service providers will be added, broadening the domestic coverage. Second, a sizable amount will go into a vital pilot program in 2025 that will assess Zone’s ability to conduct smooth cross-border transactions. Zone has a very clear goal: to develop into a worldwide payment network.

“For the first time in Africa, Zone’s technology enables direct communication between participants in the payment ecosystem,” said Ameya Upadhyay, Partner at Flourish Ventures. “We believe this is a fundamental leap that will allow customers to experience a completely new standard of reliability, speed and cost efficiency at the ATM, at POS machines and online.”

Zone was granted a license to transfer and process payments by the Central Bank of Nigeria in 2022. This gives Zone the ability to use its blockchain network to enhance the transaction switching and processing services it now provides to banks and fintechs.


Dr. William Odion is a financial coach and consultant who specializes in Forex and Crypto trading. He is also an author, founder and CEO of Probaba EA Consults a.k.a Probabafx, and a brand influencer and real estate investor.

Leave a Reply