Crypto trading application VIBRA, a brainchild of Vincent Li, the founding partner of web3 accelerator Adaverse, has halted its operations in Nigeria. Although there are indications of a total shutdown across Africa, Li maintains that the closure is limited to the Nigerian market while the company undergoes a strategic shift.
In July 2023, VIBRA, a product of the African Blockchain Lab, discontinued its Nigerian operations. Vincent Li, who co-founded the African Blockchain Lab and secured $6 million in venture capital from investors such as Lateral Frontiers and Dragonfly Capital, announced to TechCabal that the company is in a transitional phase, although he did not divulge any further details. Li also confirmed that VIBRA continues to operate in other markets.
Despite the company’s website stating that it functions in Ghana and Kenya, an email circulated on its official Telegram channel implies that the app has ceased serving users across all African markets. The email, dated July 14, stated: “Please note that we will no longer support any crypto transactions after today,” without explicitly mentioning that the closure would only impact Nigerian customers. Li chose not to comment on the email.
Two credible sources, including a former employee, have confirmed to TechCabal that the company has indeed ceased operations. “Ex-colleagues privy to such details have informed me that the startup has folded,” an anonymous former employee revealed. Another source also confirmed that the company’s employees, including Hailey Yang, the country manager, have left.
VIBRA was Blockchain Labs’ inaugural product and aimed to “drive the mass adoption of digital assets and blockchain technologies in Africa.” It also launched #VIBRAinClass, an innovative crypto education platform where experts could earn money for teaching Africans about blockchain. Instructors could earn up to $400 or $100 per class over four months. Students also had the opportunity to earn up to 1000 naira in each class.
However, these incentives, although attractive, might have proven too costly and insufficient in gaining customer trust. “Nigerians are very crypto-curious and are willing to try new ways to earn money, but they also have high expectations of crypto companies,” a former employee stated. He further added, “Nigerians who view cryptocurrencies as a quick wealth creation avenue need to be shown that you can fly ten people out to Dubai,” referring to the costly promotional strategies employed by popular exchanges in Nigeria.
Vibra’s closure in Nigeria follows a trend of closures and downsizing of web3 startups. Other well-known web3 startups that have recently shut down include LazerPay and Pillow. As the Crypto Exchange service United States continues to evolve and new platforms emerge, it is crucial for potential investors to understand how to make a Crypto Investment blockchain and download a digital wallet for secure transactions.
The cessation of VIBRA’s operations in Africa underscores the volatility of the crypto market and the need for robust business models that can withstand fluctuations. For now, the future of the crypto app in USA and globally remains uncertain, with startups like VIBRA grappling with operational challenges amidst a rapidly changing landscape. Stay tuned for more updates on the latest developments in the African tech scene.