DFS Lab, Stellar launch fund for transformative digital payments

Dfs Lab And Stellar
Dfs Lab And Stellar

DFS Lab has announced the launch of the DFS Lab Stellar Africa Fund I, which will back high-potential builders and teams in Africa aiming to transform the digital payments landscape and beyond by building on the Stellar network. 

DFS Lab is an early-stage investor that focuses on Africa’s largest economic engines and invests in founders who are creating opportunities for everyone.

Its new fund is made possible through an investment from the Stellar Development Foundation. Stellar is a decentralised, fast, scalable, and uniquely sustainable network for financial products and services, while the Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) is a non-profit organisation that supports the development and growth of Stellar.

The fund brings together DFS Lab’s years of supporting Africa’s best digital commerce founders with the open-source Stellar network, optimised for payments and asset issuance. Portfolio founders selected for investment by the fund will have access to DFS Lab’s team and community as well as mentors from the Stellar Development Foundation and Stellar ecosystem companies.

It will build on previous blockchain bootcamp collaborations between DFS Lab and the Stellar Development Foundation, which supported developers and startups building on the open-source Stellar network in Africa, with wide-ranging product examples.

“‘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,” said Daniel Casanas, head of investments at the Stellar Development Foundation.

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

Stephen Deng, partner at DFS Lab, said the new fund will 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 US$100,000, with further follow-on investments possible as teams grow,” he said.

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