Celo, a blockchain open-source ecosystem concentrated on making decentralised financial (DeFi) systems and tools available to anyone with a smartphone, announced today that Valora, a mobile-first digital wallet native to the Celo Platform that allows you to save, send, and spend crypto as easily as texting, will operate as a separate company.The announcement comes on the heels of a $20 million Series A round led by Polychain Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Nima Capital, NFX, SV Angel, and Valor Capital, amongst other series. Jackie Bona, who most recently served as the Head of Consumer Growth at cLabs, Inc. (cLabs), will take over as CEO of Valora as a separate company.
Valora has seen promising growth since its public launch in February 2021. Valora now has over 200K users with a balance, as well as 53K monthly active users in over 100 countries who use the app to pay, send money internationally, and save.
“I am honoured that cLabs was able to assist Valora in becoming what it is today.We hope Valora will continue to play an important role in the Celo ecosystem “cLabs co-founder Rene Reinsberg said. “Valora’s rapid expansion in such a short period of time is truly remarkable, and I’m more confident than ever that under Jackie Bona’s leadership, Valora will continue to thrive as an independent company.Jackie oversaw the launch and was a founding member of the Valora team, which “created financial opportunities for many people in need.”
Valora solves long-standing challenges in the crypto market by combining the power of Celo’sblockchain with an intuitive user interface.Valora makes crypto accessible to real people all over the world by fully utilising Celo’s unique features, allowing them to: Send funds to virtually any mobile phone number in the world (replacing the 42-character-long public key)
Use any smartphone, even if internet access is limited (eliminating the reliance on a computer, the latest iPhone, or high-speed internet)
The same stable token can be used to pay for transaction fees (instead of needing to hold 2 separate digital assets and give up valuable crypto to pay fees)
Participate even if you don’t have a traditional bank account.
They have complete control over their money (instead of trusting a central institution or other middleman)
No other crypto application comes close to this level of simplicity.Anyone new to crypto and DeFi can participate in this growing ecosystem thanks to Valora’s innovative technology and user-friendly interface.
Valora plans to use the newly raised funds to improve its user-friendly product and create educational content to help more people become comfortable with cryptocurrencies as a better way to save, send, and spend money.
“Valora is addressing many of the issues that have stymied the widespread adoption of crypto and DeFi. It’s on its way to becoming the world’s crypto gateway “Arianna Simpson, a16z crypto’s General Partner, stated.”As crypto becomes more mainstream and continues to scale around the world, we look forward to continuing to partner with the exceptional team at Valora.”
The Valora team originated from cLabs, the company that created Celo and the inherent asset CELO, which is traded on more than 20 exchanges worldwide. Valora’s global team has specialised knowledge in blockchain, consumer apps, and the fintech industry.The team also has extensive experience launching products in international markets and shares a passion for leveraging the power of cryptocurrencies to promote inclusion and global impact. CEO Jackie Bona brings 15 years of international go-to-market strategy and product marketing experience from high-growth internet tech companies such as Twitter, Google and Spotify.
“I am ecstatic to be leading Valora at such an exciting time in its evolution, both as an independent company and in the broader cryptocurrency world,” Ms. Bona said. “Awareness of cryptocurrency among consumers has never been higher, but many people remain on the fence, either due to scepticism or a lack of access.Valora is making crypto and DeFi more accessible to newcomers. We believe in a world where everyone has access to the wealth and opportunity created by the new global financial system, and Valora will work to expand access and build bridges to a better, more inclusive future.”
Businesses all over the world have started using the Valora app. Among the most recent adopters are:
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Grameen Foundation used Valora to efficiently and safely deliver aid to 3,500 female entrepreneurs in the state of Philippines. This disaster relief programme gave people digital access to groceries, medicine, and other essentials to keep their homes and businesses running.
Valora is used by Impact Market to facilitate the global distribution of aid through one of the world’s largest private UBI programmes. In the last few months, they’ve distributed over $4 million to 18 thousand people in nearly 20 of the world’s poorest countries, including Brazil, Ghana, the Philippines, and Zimbabwe.
Corsali uses Valora to pay wages earned from digital microwork in emerging markets.Valora is frequently used as a worker’s first bank account and introduction to cryptocurrency. Workers quickly gain confidence in the new tool and begin to use other features such as saving and investing.
These examples demonstrate how Valora provides real value to real people all over the world, many of whom are new to crypto and are now learning about the benefits of DeFi.
Valora is a Celo Platform-native mobile crypto wallet that works on iOS and Android devicesboth. Valorause to makeblockchain usable and accessible on even the most basic smartphones, allowing the world’s 6 billion smartphone users to save, send, and spend cryptocurrency as easily as sending a text message. Valora is available on the App Store and Google Play Store. For more information, go to valoraapp.com.