Ghanaian Startup Hurupay Empowers African Businesses and Individuals with Stablecoin-Based Payments
Ghanaian startup Hurupay is reshaping the financial landscape for businesses and individuals in Africa by introducing stablecoin-based payment solutions.
Founded earlier this year, Hurupay has launched a crypto wallet that empowers users to engage with stablecoins.
These cryptocurrencies are uniquely designed to maintain a constant value, mirroring the US dollar at a 1:1 ratio.
This innovative platform is specifically tailored to assist small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and individuals in mitigating the adverse effects of their local currencies depreciating against the US dollar, offering a more reliable and stable payment method.
Stablecoin-Based Payments Revolutionize Financial Landscape Across Africa
Hurupay's functionality is a game-changer for businesses.
They can now easily accept payments in stablecoins by simply scanning QR codes, all while making supplier payments without incurring any fees.
For individuals, the platform offers the opportunity to save in US dollars and stablecoins, conduct cross-border money transfers with minimal fees, and make purchases at retail stores.
The inspiration for this revolutionary platform came to co-founder and CEO Philip Mburu, a Kenyan native, when he relocated to Ghana in September 2021.
He encountered significant challenges when attempting to send and receive money as a migrant, as existing options were costly and inefficient.
Meanwhile, the Ghanaian cedi's value was continually diminishing, negatively impacting his savings.
Mburu embarked on a quest to discover alternative methods for conducting international transactions and safeguarding his savings in a stable currency, like the US dollar.
His prior knowledge of cryptocurrency led him to explore how cryptocurrencies, by their very nature, transcend borders. Moreover, he delved into the concept of stablecoins, which provide easier access to dollars.
Around this time, Mburu joined forces with James Mugambi, now Hurupay's COO, who was serving as an entrepreneur-in-residence at the Pangea accelerator in Kenya.
They were later joined by Allan Okoth, now the Chief Technology Officer, when all three participated in the Sankore Academy blockchain coding camp. Together, they officially launched the business in February.
Mburu highlighted the magnitude of the issue they aim to address, explaining, "In Africa, there are more than 44 million SMEs that employ over 80 percent of the population.
Most of these SMEs rely on local currencies, such as Ghana cedis or Kenyan shillings, for transactions.
However, these currencies often depreciate against more stable currencies like the US dollar, leading to financial uncertainty and insecurity for SMEs."
He also emphasized that most crypto wallets in Africa are consumer-oriented, leaving businesses without efficient means to process stablecoin payments from customers.
Hurupay's unique approach bridges this gap, onboarding SMEs into the world of crypto with stablecoins, making it easy for them to collect payments from customers or conduct cross-border transactions with suppliers.
The demand for stablecoins in Africa is on the rise due to their ability to provide easy access to dollars and cost-effective, instant cross-border transactions. Since its official launch in Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria, Hurupay has experienced remarkable growth, with over 1,500 active users onboarded and transactions exceeding US$100,000 processed within just two months.
Hurupay's current funding is supported by a US$21,000 grant received from Prezenti Grants in partnership with the Celo blockchain foundation as a builder on the Celo blockchain.
The startup generates revenue through a 2% fee on off-ramping and a 0.5% fee on payments to SMEs.
The company is actively working on integrating Visa and Mastercard, enabling individuals in North America and Europe to deposit funds into Hurupay and send money instantly to friends and family in Africa.
By the end of the year, Hurupay has ambitious plans to expand its services to Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda, with a vision to include 10 more countries by 2024, further cementing its role as a pioneer in stablecoin-based payments across the African continent.
Tom Jackson / Disrupt Africa