Start-up Jia recently raised $4.3 million in a seed funding round, alongside an additional $1 million for on-chain liquidity, as reported by TechCrunch. Led by early-stage consumer crypto fund TCG Crypto, the funding round is aimed at bolstering Jia’s operations in Kenya and the Philippines and fuelling the exploration of new markets.
Besides TCG Crypto, other key investors in the funding round included BlockTower, Hashed Emergent, Saison Capital, and Global Coin Research. Moreover, a host of angel investors lent their support, including Packy McCormick, Anand Iyer, Jared Hecht, and Rory Eakin.
The capital raise is expected to fortify Jia’s presence in its existing markets of Kenya and the Philippines, after which the start-up is set to venture into newer markets spanning across West Africa, Latin America, and Asia.
The strategy being adopted by Jia mirrors that of community finance or table-banking groups popular in Kenya, where members double as borrowers and shareholders, thereby earning income from the shared pool. Zach Marks, Jia CEO, disclosed that Jia typically offers loans of up to $5,000 to small businesses, charging a third of the interest compared to a typical consumer fintech lender.
Beyond just providing credit to small businesses, Jia, as per Marks, also envisions enabling economic resilience. The start-up seeks to furnish an opportunity for small businesses to build wealth in a unique manner not attempted before. This innovative model and the recently secured funding underline Jia’s ambition to redefine the landscape of blockchain fintech.
We’re live! 🚀
Excited to announce $4.3M in funding led by @TCG_Crypto to bring blockchain-based financing to emerging markets and connect capital with small businesses around the globe. 🌍
— jia (@jia_DeFi) May 17, 2023