Afropolitan Obtains $2.1 Million Pre-seed Funding For Digital Nation.
A media startup called Afropolitan which aims to enable black people around the world to access opportunities in the virtual world has raised $2.1 million.
According to its co-founder, Eche Emole, a startup that wants to build a digital nation for Africans, known as Afropolitan has raised $2.1 million in pre-seed funding.
Afropolitan was started in 2016 by Eche Emole and Chika Uwazie as an events company for the African diaspora and has since gained a lot of traction. In 2019, it transitioned into media building a community of over 50,000 black people on the audio platform, Clubhouse.
The inspiration for Afropolitan’s digital nation can be traced back to an article written by former Coinbase CTO Balaji Srinivasan, in April 2021 titled “How to Start a New Country.” In the article, he envisions this new country, dubbed the “network state,” as being “built on the cloud-first.”
Srinivasan writes, “Our idea is to proceed cloud-first, land last. Rather than starting with the physical territory, we start with the digital community. We recruit online for a group of people interested in founding a new virtual social network, a new city, and eventually a new country.”
In another article, Srinivasan says, “A network state is a social network with an agreed-upon leader, an integrated cryptocurrency, a definite purpose, a sense of national consciousness, and a plan to crowdfund territory.”
Srinivasan envisions a network state as a digital nation built without the historical constraints of a physical nation, providing citizens with a new opportunity for societal and financial freedom.
Armed with this knowledge, Emole believes that Africa has the greatest need for a digital nation because of the continent’s numerous failed states.
With Africa having 9 of the 10 countries with the highest poverty rates in the world, Emole pointed out that lingering poverty, coups d’etat, civil wars and self-imposed autocratic leaders have starved Africa of viable socio-economic opportunities.
“It doesn’t matter how well the standards are doing when bad governance shows up. It affects everything around it. We’ve tried engineering our way out of these problems, and it’s not working.”– Eche Emole on the state of Africa’s economy
According to Emole, Afropolitan aims to allow black people worldwide to build abundant lives in a digital nation away from all the scarcity problems faced globally including the inability to access institutions, money, jobs, and a high standard of living.
Looking at the world’s largest social media platform with nearly 3 billion users, Emole envisions a digital nation similar to Facebook filled with people who share common values and are governed by a single cryptocurrency.
The digital nation of Afropolitan will be built in four stages. Phase one will admit people into its community or decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) with NFTs serving as digital passports.
In the second phase, a super app will be created to let users keep track of their assets, transmit money across borders, earn money by contributing to the DAO and make purchases from each other.
The next stage is a “minimum viable state,” which will allow it to provide some government services, such as assisting Africans caught up in the Russian-Ukraine crisis.
Following that, it intends to push for full sovereignty and acquire physical lands in cities around the world.
In a statement, Afropilitan explained the move saying,
As one of the investors, Shima Capital said,
“We believe Africa is the next emerging economy that will significantly benefit from the technology paradigm shift from Web 2 to Web 3. For this value capture to take place, you need catalysts like Afropolitan.”
Srinivasan has also invested in the startup along with over 25 other angel investors from Meta, Flutterwave, Paystack and Syndicate.