Cryptocurrency

Lazerpay, a Nigerian crypto start-up shuts down

Lazerpay, a web3 and cryptocurrency payment provider, is closing. The startup’s founder, Njoku Emmanuel, disclosed that it was experiencing problems raising money months before it was shut down. The company has been battling to stay solvent after failing to get finance, according to a statement posted on Twitter by its founder Njoku Emmanuel. Despite their best efforts to “keep the lights on for as long as possible, they are now at a point where they need to shut down.

Following a workforce reduction in November 2022, the startup has done this. That savings were far from sufficient, as seen today by the founder’s declaration. According to a source familiar with the situation reported, the founder rejected a poor acquisition offer from an existing investor. Only two developers, the founder and the source, were left at the startup, and they needed to be paid, the source claimed.

Customers have been urged to withdraw their money from the platform by April 30, 2023, when the firm formally stops operations, using the bank or cryptocurrency payout options. 

The firm stated in its closure statement that it had made it possible for over 3000 merchants to accept and process payments in Naira, cedis, Kenyan shillings, Rwandan shillings, US dollars, and UAE dirham. Its goal was to promote financial inclusion and interoperability in Africa. It is willing to carry out that goal by offering Lazerpay’s intellectual property to anyone who wants to use it to create the future of cryptocurrency payments.

Shola Akinlade of Paystack, Nuwa Capital, Voltron Capital, and Nestcoin formerly supported Lazerpay. The 2021-founded firm created an API that allows programmers to incorporate cryptocurrency payments through their platforms, enabling merchants to accept cryptocurrency payments. They have provided services to over 3000 enterprises in their seventeen months of operation.

The cryptocurrency market in Africa suffers from losses

In recent years, the cryptocurrency business has suffered losses worldwide. Numerous crypto-based solutions emerged, promising financial inclusion for all, and were once heralded as the next big thing in technology, providing a decentralized alternative to traditional banking systems.

Here in Africa, though, the promise has yet to be fulfilled. The demise of FTX last year had a tremendous effect on Africa in what could be described as a domino effect. A Nigerian cryptocurrency business called Nestcoin invested money in FTX, and when FTX failed, the company found itself suddenly without a runway. Last year, Nestcoin had to make employee reductions, and the CEO stopped receiving pay.

In recent times, investors have shied away from investing in cryptocurrency firms due to a funding crunch and a stricter approach to fundraising. Another cryptocurrency firm from Nigeria, Fluidcoins, was bought by Bitfinex last month after it could not secure funding to expand its operations.