Money is a technology. But in its current version, it has a number of problems. 1.2 billion people live in highly inflationary economies. One in five people in the world lack access to a bank account, locking them out of basic financial instruments like access to savings, access to credit, access to yield, and access to digital payments.
Why shouldn’t anyone in the world be able to buy a US stock? Or to choose which currency to invest their savings in? Not just that, but the current financial system is in large part responsible for our ecological crisis, as near-term economic incentives (for example, the externalization of the cost of carbon or pollution) are often at odds with long-term ecological sense.
That’s why we founded Flori Ventures, a seed-stage venture fund partnering with founders who are creating a more innovative, regenerative, decentralized, and inclusive financial system. While money is broken for far too many, it is also prime for innovation.
Maturing crypto technology is opening up new possibilities around some of money’s core problems. Money can now be decentralized, borderless, designed for mobile users and digital identities, and a powerful source of aligning incentives with the protection of the planet.
Flori means to bloom in Esperanto. We partner with founders in the early stages of development, helping them reach their full potential. And we are doing this at scale — we want to invest in 200 companies every year.
Flori’s investment thesis is just as focused on mission as on technology. And that’s why the Celo community is a natural and obvious partner.
Celo is a financial ecosystem that is run by its community and designed to foster a more connected financial system. Celo’s mission to create the conditions for prosperity for all has guided them to build accessible, inclusive, and functional technologies that are mobile-first and useful for real-world solutions today. There are already over 1.2M unique wallets and 17 Million transactions on the network, making it one of the most widely used blockchains for real-world use.
Flori is run by founders who have experience and built scale outside crypto, and we are deeply connected to active members of the Celo community. In the last few months since we started defining our purpose, we have partnered with the founders of Moola, Ube, Ponto, Kresko, Paychant, Oppzo, Corsali, Earbutter, and 50 more projects in the Celo ecosystem, and we set the goal of supporting 200 companies per year. These founders are building core pieces in the ecosystem and we are helping seed opportunities for collaboration among them.
In addition to the founder’s community, we have recruited mentors and visiting partners to run founder programs, office hours and host demo days to help connect founders and investors in their growth trajectories. Last but not least, our mission of enabling prosperity for all expands to how we approach our fund’s profits: we are committing to sharing 20% of our fund’s profits with nonprofits and UBI projects like Impact Market, GoodDollar, and more.
Celo’s ecosystem is thriving, and we’re proud to add further momentum with Flori. Today, there are over 1,000 projects in 80 countries being built on Celo and the number is growing fast, supported by programs like Celo Foundation Grants, DeFi for the people, Founder in Residence, Celo Camp, Community and Ecosystem Funds, DeFi Alliance and hackathons. Flori is a complement to the existing resources, specifically centered around founders ready to focus on growth and scale.
The community around Flori is like no other — join us.
@founders: here is how to get in touch.
Ultimately, it’s remarkable founders who will do the most to advance our mission. Flori will provide them support, mentorship, and resources for company building, partnerships with other companies solving the interconnected challenges of a new financial system, and a like-minded community with shared values.
We are particularly interested in projects that explore universal basic income, community commerce, community currencies, natural-capital-backed currencies, accessible DeFi primitives, earnings platforms, peer-to-peer marketplaces, and reducing friction and fees while increasing access. We invest globally, as some of the most exciting innovations are happening in frontier markets or where money is broken.