By Tolu Okuwoga
Patricia, a crypto exchange, revealed its fundraising plans in an interview with Bloomberg. The exchange moved its headquarters to Estonia after a clampdown in Nigeria that nearly destroyed its business. The relocation came after the court ruled for it to vacate with immediate effect.
Still recovering from the event, Patricia has decided to take on institutional investors for the first time to scale its business.
Patricia Planning To Raise $50 Million
Founder of the crypto exchange, Hanu Agbodje, has self-funded the company since its launch four years ago. He started with less than $2,000.
Agbodje disclosed that his company plans to raise as much as $50 million to upgrade its technology, hire blockchain engineers and keep up with regulatory requirements. He also said that he intends to raise the funds for the company in the next six months.
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“The crypto space is heavily frowned upon by regulators so we need to be 100% compliant as we enter new markets,” Agbodje said. “To help people understand the technology, a lot of the funds “will go into marketing. We need to find ways to break it down and reach as many people as we can.”
The founder also mentioned that the exchange needs to expand to keep up with bigger competition like Binance.
Since moving the company’s headquarter to Estonia, Patricia has surpassed the levels it had when it was in Nigeria. The Baltic nation was among the first in the European Union to license the industry in late 2017.
Total crypto market at $2.843 Trillion | Source: Crypto Total Market Cap from TradingView.com
It is common knowledge that Nigeria is a volatile environment for many businesses, especially if they are crypto-related. According to London-based director at Renaissance Capital Ltd Adesoji Solanke, “Pivoting away from Nigeria helps platforms capture revenue pools across a wider range of countries that are also climbing the crypto adoption curve.”
Agbodje said that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) may reverse its clampdown on crypto trading in Nigeria. And when that time comes, the country’s crypto industry would get “larger and greater.” Although, this may not happen any time soon as the response from regulators tells a different story.
CBN’s Stand On Crypto Trading
Nigeria’s Central Bank has had a strict attitude towards cryptocurrencies. However, there has been a particular clampdown this year. Earlier this year, the CBN ordered all banks to freeze all accounts that had crypto transactions. And also, accounts of all crypto exchanges. It cited concerns including volatility, money laundering, and the financing of terrorism. Last month, however, the court asked banks to unblock accounts, adding that the central bank’s previous circular was not law.
Related Reading | Why Crypto Traders’ Funds Got Suspended In Nigeria
A few days ago, the Central Bank directed commercial banks to close the accounts of two entities accused of trading crypto and move their funds to “suspense accounts.” In its most recent crackdown move, the CBN has ordered commercial banks to monitor customers’ accounts for crypto trading.
Despite CBN’s opposition, the demand for virtual currencies in Nigeria still rises.
Featured image by mypatricia.co, Chart from TradingView.com