Blockchain start-up, FlexID Technologies secures funding from Algorand Foundation

ZIMBABWE – Zimbabwean founded blockchain start-up, FlexID Technologies (formerly FlexFinTx), has announced securing an undisclosed funding from Silvio Micali’s Algorand Foundation.

The funding is from a Simple Agreement For Equity (SAFE) with the Algorand Foundation, to further develop and scale their Self Sovereign Identity (SSI) platform.

The startup strives to make its decentralized digital identity network available in emerging markets where over one billion people are thought to lack formal identification.

The funding from Algorand Foundation comes under the Impact category, which identified FlexID as a necessary catalyst for global financial inclusion.

Securing the funding deal is a first for the Zimbabwean start-up ecosystem. This funding support follows Flex ID’s Algorand Foundation Development Award which the team were awarded in 2020.

Founded by Victor Mapunga, FlexID was formed out of the founder’s frustration with a banking system that excludes those without identity documents.

Mapunga, said he was like the over 400 million people in Africa that have no identity documents (IDs), and failed to open a bank account due to laborious paperwork and the identity requirements.

“Identity is foundational to modern-day commerce. Without an ID, one cannot participate in the economy even at the most basic levels such as access to basic telco services, mobile money and banking,” he said.

“Without an ID, education and healthcare become extremely difficult to access. On the other hand, the shambolic national records further increase the cost of doing business. With FlexID, even the informal sector can transition from an isolated view to a formalized economy. Farmers can easily access credit and inputs.”

According to FlexID, the startup is essentially building a decentralized marketplace of people. The human is the API you communicate with, and that form of communication can be commerce, education or health-related services.

FlexID will build a stack of credentials one after the other allowing social mobility to occur and this will all happen on the Algorand Blockchain. The startup’s platform opens up access to the African market that was not previously available.

FlexID, which became the first Zimbabwean start-up to be selected as a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer, will use the Algorand Blockchain for its decentralized key management system, and to later perform financial transactions.

According to FlexID CTO, an MIT trained software engineer, Kudzai Zharare, the startup will perform credential issuance and verification on-chain, allowing a completely decentralized Layer 2 which puts the user in control.

“The Algorand blockchain allows FlexID to achieve this feat because the chain is the only one that has truly solved blockchain trilemma challenge and has experienced zero downtime since its mainnet launch in 2019,” added Zharare.

FlexID will also invest in integrating its platform with existing Algorand dApps including those in DeFi and NFTs to allow flawless mobility across the entire ecosystem.

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