Kenya’s Melanin Kapital Gets Adaverse Funding to Enhance Green Financing for SMEs with Cardano Blockchain

Adaverse Accelerator
5 min readAug 7, 2023

PRESS RELEASE: August 7, 2023

Adaverse, a foremost Cardano ecosystem accelerator in Africa and Asia, has announced a strategic investment in Melanin Kapital, an innovative Kenyan fintech platform that connects African SMEs with green financing. Adaverse has joined the ongoing pre-seed funding round, supporting Melanin Kapital through mentorship and aiding its Web3 integration on the Cardano blockchain.

Green Financing: A Beacon for SMEs in Africa

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a crucial role in Africa’s economic growth, providing approximately 90% of the continent’s employment. Despite their significance, these enterprises face considerable financing gaps, especially in traditional capital markets. Conversely, green finance, a crucial financial sector subset, has emerged as a potential solution, especially for emerging innovations in developing countries. It encourages SMEs to adopt sustainable practices, amplifying their contribution to global sustainability and climate change mitigation.

Melanin Kapital, through an innovative blend of AI, blockchain technology, and climate KPIs, has emerged to harness the opportunity gap between the evolving landscape of green finance coupled with the urgent need for climate action. By integrating a bespoke AI climate scoring system within a digital lending platform, they empower lenders and businesses to track climate-centric key performance indicators effectively and source carbon credit for SMEs. This fosters alignment of business performance with environmental goals, and also pioneers fresh routes for SMEs to access Africa-focused sustainable finance and climate financing.

Vincent Li, Founding Partner at Adaverse commented on the investment, saying, “Melanin Kapital is trailblazing Web3 financing, ingeniously innovating and redirecting the flow of green capital to SMEs making a huge impact in Africa. Through innovative digital strategies, they’re amplifying opportunities for capital and green investment. This is significantly contributing to the growth of Africa’s digital economy and we are excited to support this great vision.

Insights From the CEO, Melanie Keita

Founding Story

Melanin Kapital was conceived in 2020, before the onset of the COVID pandemic, with the objective of sustainably financing SMEs in Africa. As someone who spent their childhood in France, I returned as an adult to my roots in Mali and Congo to witness the hurdles faced by local entrepreneurs in securing business financing. My experience in Investment and Development Banking in Europe made me acutely aware of the vast funding available for Africa but grossly inaccessible to impact-making SMEs. I decided to collaborate with my co-founder, Ian Minjire a seasoned engineer and entrepreneur in the sustainability sector and clean energy sectors, and together we established Melanin Kapital. Our shared vision was to create an accessible financial ecosystem for African business owners, bridging the gap between international funding and local enterprises.

Melanin Kapital Co-founders: Melanie Keita (CEO) and Ian Minjire (COO)

Vision and Impact

Our vision is to transform the financial sector in Africa through digitalization, transforming the way underserved businesses receive funding. We’ve established our platform as a conduit for climate financing directed at SMEs, assisting in cash management, CO2 tracking, and converting their positive environmental impact into financial opportunities. Since initiating operations in Kenya, we’ve experienced significant growth across East Africa, onboarded over 500 businesses, processed $1.5 million in green financing applications, and expanded our reach to Europe with a branch in Germany. Our comprehensive product suite of MelaninVest, MelaninBiz, and MelaninGrow provides integrated solutions to individuals and businesses for green capital raising and financing in Africa.

Transitioning into Web3 with Cardano Blockchain

We’re exploring the transformative power of tokenization to uniquely monetize the impact of African SMEs. Our emphasis is on standardizing real-time CO2 savings data collection, a key part of our strategy. As we extend our reach into new markets, we view blockchain technology as a promising solution for secure and transparent data collection. This approach helps address the challenges of informality and high-risk perception while offering opportunities for credit data ownership and trading. Access to robust development tools and dependable processing power facilitates our move toward the Cardano blockchain, which supports sustainability.

Adaverse Accelerator Program

During our three-year journey as fintech innovators in Kenya, we’ve come to appreciate the infinite potential of blockchain, even amidst its inherent complexities. Support from Adaverse and Emurgo Africa significantly strengthens our strong foundation in East Africa as well as our plans for West African expansion. The Adaverse accelerator program has given us remarkable access to a robust network of Cardano experts and startup resources, significantly accelerating our product development. This level of investor engagement is rare, and we deeply value it.

Shogo Ishida, Co-CEO of EMURGO Middle East and Africa, commented, “Africa is taking giant leaps towards climate awareness and carbon neutrality, and Melanin Kapital is at the forefront of this movement. By empowering innovative and carbon-conscious SMEs, they’re driving sustainability in an impactful way. Their approach to green finance aligns with Cardano’s vision and underscores the transformative power of blockchain in the global sustainability narrative.”

About Adaverse

Adaverse is a visionary Venture Fund and Cardano-focused accelerator with an innovative footprint in Africa, Asia, and beyond. Formed as a joint venture between EMURGO Africa, a subsidiary of EMURGO, the official commercial arm of the Cardano Blockchain, and Everest Ventures Group, a leading blockchain and digital asset venture studio. With an impressive portfolio of over 35 startups across ten sectors in eight countries, Adaverse fosters the growth of Web 3 solutions. Offering support ranging from $100k to a million, it empowers founders with personalized mentorship, cutting-edge tech support, and robust global connections.

Adaverse is seeking to commit more resources to expand its reach in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, to help launch innovative solutions, particularly Cardano-based projects as part of its efforts to usher in a digitally-advanced global economy.

To learn more about Melanin Kapital, visit the website.

Web3 startups can apply for Adaverse funding here.

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