DFS Lab
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DFS Lab

Results of the Blockchain Bootcamp

Awards, demos, and more

UPDATE 2/23/2022: Applications for our second Blockchain Bootcamp are now open until March 27, 2022. Apply here.

We launched a blockchain bootcamp in partnership with the Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) to support the boom of blockchain and crypto activities across the African continent and we were not disappointed with the results. Nine companies participated and each earned an award valued at either $5,000 or $15,000. The companies that are being awarded $15,000 developed projects that implemented a solution on Stellar that’s ready to be deployed, and where Stellar provides a fundamental boost to the core functionality of their company. The projects that are being awarded $5,000 developed projects that demonstrate the drive to learn and implement new technologies quickly in their existing workflows, and who will have opportunities to define the best ways of integrating with Stellar for their use case.

Each company spent the week at our virtual bootcamp going through the design sprint process with the guidance of a mentor and with access to technical support from Stellar developers. At the end of the week everyone came together for our virtual demo day, with select investors invited to join the audience. Check out the award results and demos below to get excited about blockchain’s role in African fintech.

Projects that implemented a solution on Stellar that’s ready to be deployed

HoneyCoin: Awarded a prize worth of $15,000

HoneyCoin is a decentralized monetization and P2P platform for African creators and consumers. During the bootcamp they built a direct integration into Stellar’s Horizon API and anchor protocols in order to support secure non-custodial wallets for their consumers as well as interfaced with adapters to allow users to link their existing wallets. They also built a first-of-its-kind proprietary ‘Fast Checkout’ experience on all HoneyCoin payment links for fungible and non-fungible assets with an in-built escrow engine. This allows consumers to make payments for digital and physical products and authenticate payments with a simple 4-digit one-time password. Creators and merchants get paid in FIAT through Stellar anchors without ever having to login to their accounts. See their demo here.

With Stellar, they were able to begin and complete their integration during the bootcamp week and are already able to allow users in Kenya, Tanzania, and the US to interact with Stellar and the FIAT world through Stellar anchors at a fraction of the cost that would incur paying gas fees or transaction costs on other networks.

Hover Developer Services, Inc. / Stax: Awarded a prize worth of $15,000

Stax is a universal money app for Africa — all your money (bank, crypto, and mobile money) in one place, accessible without using mobile data. Stax is built by Hover Developer Services, Inc., a Delaware C Corporation on a mission to build an inclusive internet.

During the bootcamp, they built a USDC store of value for their wallet interface. 300 million Africans own a smartphone and choose to transact “offline” via a legacy GSM channel called Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD). Stax automates USSD in the background, enabling them to 10x the user experience of moving money via a rich app interface that works without expensive mobile data. They plan to leverage this technology to enable “offline” crypto and DeFi to make Stax a truly universal money app for the continent. See the demo here.

Stellar will help them enable a self-custody, multi-token wallet within Stax, starting with USDC. For Stax users, USDC is a safe first step to the worlds of crypto and DeFi, where they aim to help users protect and invest their hard-earned money.

Bonafide: Awarded a prize worth of $15,000

Bonafide is a wallet that lets you save and win prizes weekly in dollars. It’s a product from Moneymie.

During the bootcamp they built ​​a dollar savings app for African Diaspora. Bonafide aims to evolve into a digital dollar wallet that allows Africans to send, receive, save and invest money. They launched a digital bank for migrants in the US which saw 70% of signups from Africa but the US banking infrastructure they deployed did not support Africans. This sort of exclusion is typical of large western fintechs and they are on a mission to change that. See the demo here.

Stellar provides them with the ability to spin up USDC wallets affordably.

Projects that demonstrate the drive to learn and implement new technologies quickly in their existing workflows

Windpay: Awarded a prize worth of $5,000

WindPay is a super-app that helps users access various services and make payments online and offline in Ethiopia. WindPay is aiming to be the Alipay for Africa.

During the bootcamp Windpay built ​​an app for ride hailing drivers, enabling them to buy ride credits. See their demo here.

Stellar will enable them to provide multiple wallets to hold various currencies in one application. Achieving this will ease expansion to other African countries and their ability to scale and diversify the services they provide.

Pesapeer: Awarded a prize worth of $5,000

Pesapeer is a money transfer company based in Canada that helps customers facilitate remittance payments to their loved ones in Africa.

During the bootcamp Pesapeer built an end-to-end instant remittance service built on the Stellar network. See their demo here.

With the ecosystem of anchors that Stellar has today, Pesapeer intends to leverage this network of anchors to facilitate remittance into the countries these anchors exist. They also plan to become a Stellar anchor themselves to help facilitate payments and remittances in and out of Canada.

Gravity: Awarded a prize worth of $5,000

Gravity empowers individuals like merchants, farmers, and gig-workers to create portable and persistent digital identities for financial access. In addition, they provide an embedded financing solution for supply chains. Merchants in Nairobi use Gravity to bring together data from their suppliers, credit scores, and verified identity. They can then share this with a lender to access earmarked credit for stock purchases.

During the bootcamp Gravity built a prototype that allows merchants to receive loans for business purchases from crowdfunded pools. Individual lenders contribute funds to a liquidity pool for certain periods of time and earn interest. Lenders know what the funds in each pool are being used for (e.g. “Working capital finance for Dukas in Nairobi”). Thanks to Gravity’s decentralized identity, they can verify how many merchants received funds at which condition etc. See their demo here.

With Stellar, they want to connect merchants directly with liquidity that can be provided by anyone in the world, cutting out the middleman.

Fonbnk: Awarded a prize worth of $5,000

Fonbnk is a DeFi company that enables billions of prepaid mobile subscribers in the global unbanked/underbanked south to participate in the global digital economy.

During the bootcamp Fonbnk built a prepaid airtime-to-virtual wallet gateway. See the demo here.

In order to drive accessibility of the Fonbnk marketplace, they need to provide their users with low-cost, high throughput blockchain applications. With Stellar, they created a bridge between their USDC gateway and the Stellar ecosystem.

Quidroo: Awarded a prize worth of $5,000

Quidroo is an online factoring platform where transactions are streamlined and SMEs get paid within 72 hours by selling their invoices to investors to get fast cash at favorable rates. Quidroo is ‘women first’ and focuses on SDG 9.3: Increasing the proportion of small-scale industries with access to finance in developing countries, and SDG 8.3: Increasing the proportion of people with access to financial services.

During the bootcamp Quidroo built an invoice selling platform where sellers can cash in on their invoices from verified vendors. See the demo here.

Stellar will allow them to:

  • Provide access to users anywhere in the world through integration with various Stellar anchors
  • Provide conversions of currency to enable withdrawal and deposit for users in their local currency using Stellar path payments
  • Initiate transactions and raise invoices through Stellar’s distributed blockchain ledger
  • Eliminate manual verification as blocks on the chain are independently verified via end customer and client communication on the Stellar blockchain.

DyaPay: Awarded a prize worth of $5,000

DyaPay is a fintech platform that empowers people in emerging markets to access the global digital economy. They are building remittance, cross border payment and payment processing solutions for businesses to get paid online. In addition, they offer their users access to financial products they were excluded from before through Decentralized Finance.

During the bootcamp DyaPay built a prototype for customers to send a payment using the Stellar network. See the demo here.

​​Stellar makes it easy to create and transfer digital representations of money within an anchor’s ecosystem for a very low transaction fee. By providing an open source blockchain network, a faster transaction speed, and tools to build digital applications, Stellar solves the problem of moving value transparently, instantly, and in a cost-effective way.

Each project demonstrated an impressive level of thinking and we thoroughly enjoyed working with the teams through the bootcamp process. We’re excited to see where these projects go from here. If you’re interested to learn more about getting involved with our bootcamps, either as a participant or as a mentor, follow us on Twitter @TheDFSLab and LinkedIn for upcoming opportunities, and subscribe to our newsletter.

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Alina Kaiser

Alina Kaiser

Communications consultant for @TheDFSLab, @FiDAPartnership, and @cariboudigital. Master of Communication from University of Washington.