PRESS RELEASE — May 26, 2023
Adaverse, a leading venture fund and Cardano accelerator advancing the growth of cryptonative startups in Africa and Asia, today announced a significant investment in Versus Africa, a pioneering market research startup enhancing access to consumer insights. The strategic partnership aims to drive the transformation of data collection and consumer insights in emerging markets, particularly in Africa, to aid economic development and encourage healthy investment in these markets.
"Through this investment in Versus Africa, Adaverse aims to unlock Africa's economic potential by facilitating data-driven decision-making. As people increasingly turn to technology for answers, it is crucial to recognize that the very essence of technological progress lies in the power of trustworthy data. Versus Africa empowers other businesses to thrive through reliable consumer market insights which is pivotal in capturing a projected $2.5 trillion consumer market in Africa" says Vincent Li, Founding Partner at Adaverse
Data Challenge in Emerging Markets
Versus Africa addresses the critical challenge of scarce and unreliable consumer data in Africa and emerging markets where there is notable growth in expanding middle-class populations, industrialization, rising consumer demand, and improving infrastructure. The projected growth in consumer expenditure in Africa is expected to exceed $2.1 trillion by 2025, but many businesses struggle to find the reliable and comprehensive data necessary to effectively ride this wave of opportunity. While Africa emerges as the second fastest-growing economic region after Asia, it faces a significant data gap compared to Europe and Asia. Ironically, a lack of precise and thorough data reporting on this subject makes it difficult to accurately assess the severity of data accessibility challenges in Africa.
Fragmented consumer market
The consequences of this data gap are far-reaching, as businesses face an uphill battle in identifying trends, comprehending consumer preferences, and crafting strategic initiatives to capture the market. This also poses obstacles for governments and inhibits their ability to formulate effective regulations, stimulate revenue streams, and attract investors. Without access to reliable consumer insights, governments struggle to make informed decisions that drive market growth and foster a conducive business environment. Operating in an information deficit poses challenges for both businesses and governments, leading to increased risks, wasted resources, missed opportunities, and global competitive disadvantages.
The Solution: Versus Africa
Versus Africa is a groundbreaking end-to-end research platform that empowers both local and global brands to gain deep insights into consumer markets with its unique social listening and rapid survey tools. Leveraging a patent-pending market research technology, Versus Africa seamlessly integrates an online and offline collection of data that is accurate, fast, and reliable.
To achieve this, Versus Africa engages with a dedicated community of respondents known as Versus Scouts throughout Africa. These scouts are motivated to complete surveys and tasks, earning rewards in both local currency and cryptocurrency. Versus Africa introduces a layer of crypto rewards, leveraging the advantages of uniform and scalable compensation. By utilizing blockchain technology, the platform strengthens respondent quality with enhanced Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures. This unique approach accelerates scout growth and fosters a reliable and engaged respondent community, and this model will be expanded with integration on the Cardano blockchain through optimum support from Adaverse and EMURGO Africa.
"Consumer needs are evolving globally, presenting challenges in obtaining market insights. These challenges are particularly pronounced in Africa, with its diverse languages, cultures, and socio-political dynamics across various markets. Versus Africa has successfully identified innovative pathways to connect brands with consumers in these emerging markets, and we are excited to support this brilliant solution with Cardano's ecosystem resources," stated Shogo Ishida, Co-CEO EMURGO Middle East and Africa.
Africa is home to over 1.4 billion people, and this human capital is hugely transferable to generate economic growth on a larger scale. At the root of our solution is our passion to innovate for SMEs in Africa to grow on a global scale, and the bedrock of sustainable development is data, Kemdi Ebi commented. We want to bridge the data gap and ensure consumers are fully involved in this process.
Ikezi Kamanu and Kemdi Ebi, Co-Founders at Versus Africa
Kemdi Ebi, the co-founder of Versus Africa, conceived the idea of bridging the divide between consumers and businesses back in 2011, when he encountered the limitations of Western tools in tracking a voter’s education campaign he co-created in Nigeria. Realizing the necessity for a precise and inclusive data solution that accounted for local language nuances, Kemdi joined forces with co-founder Ikezi Kamanu, leveraging his invaluable expertise from Google. In 2021, their collective efforts materialized in the establishment of Versus Africa, a native market research technology platform adaptable to dynamic markets.
Since its establishment in 2019, Versus Africa has rapidly emerged as a prominent and influential player in the consumer insights industry. With its strategically located headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria, Versus Africa also maintains satellite operations in London, Kenya, and the United States. Following a successful pre-seed round of funding in 2021, the company has diligently developed its robust data infrastructure, catering to brands across a wide range of industries. With a strong foothold in sectors such as consumer goods, research and marketing agencies, advertising, banking, gaming, sports, and consulting, including globally recognised brands such as Arsenal, MTN, MPesa, Sportsbet, etc., Versus Africa has positioned itself as a trusted partner for businesses seeking reliable data.
Innovating The Future on Blockchain
Consumer satisfaction and growth are the ultimate goals of every business. By leveraging accurate market feedback and predicting trends, businesses can make better decisions, adapt strategies, and succeed in dynamic market landscapes. To achieve this, Versus Africa is on a trajectory to create a reliable and more dependable platform with blockchain as the bedrock of data verification and authentication.
Kemdi Ebi added, “We are incredibly excited about our partnership with Adaverse and EMURGO Africa, particularly considering the 'innovate or die' era that our industry is entering. Blockchain technology has become crucial in our mission to expand our scout community throughout Africa, and Adaverse's support, with the backing of the Cardano Foundation, provided a significant boost for us in actualizing our goals for impact and growth. The resources and support we have received since initiating this partnership have been invaluable, and we feel privileged to have Adaverse supporting our ambitious vision."
Versus Africa is poised for substantial growth and impact beyond Africa and will strategically integrate Cardano's blockchain infrastructure to eliminate data source vulnerability. With plans to fully launch its blockchain and crypto reward system, Versus Africa will leverage the expertise of Adaverse and EMURGO Africa for advisory and tech support and to benefit from the global ecosystem.
“We want to see businesses in Africa win through accurate and readily available consumer market research data. Hence, our aim remains to achieve full integration of the Web3 layer by Q4 2023. This will significantly help us reach our goal to extend the Scout community to over 1 million active users across Africa by 2025. We will also offer Versus tokens and stablecoin rewards through Cardano's USDA introduction,” added Kemdi Ebi.
Versus Africa provides a customized demo experience for businesses. To unlock valuable consumer insights, schedule a quick demo here.
Adaverse is a Cardano-focused accelerator set up jointly by EMURGO Africa, a subsidiary of EMURGO, the official commercial arm of the Cardano protocol, and Everest Ventures Group, a leading blockchain and digital asset venture studio, looking to identify and scale promising Web3 projects in Africa and Asia, to advance the emerging digital economy.
Since its establishment in 2021, Adaverse has successfully established a strong market presence in Africa and Asia, bridging the two regions and contributing to the broader global Web3 ecosystem. With a primary focus on promoting Cardano integration, Adaverse offers comprehensive support in funding, strategy, and technical infrastructure to blockchain entrepreneurs at various stages of development.
To learn more about Adaverse, visit website
Startups that are African-focused building Web3 solutions can apply for funding here.
Adaverse Official Links
Facebook: Adaverse Accelerator
Startup School: Adaverse Startup School
BuildUp Africa Podcast: BuildUp Africa