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Nigerian cryptocurrency payment firm closes its doors, offering IP for sale

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  • What – Lazerpay, a company specializing in web3 and cryptocurrency payments.
  • Why – It has announced that it is closing down. 
  • What Next – On April 13, through his Twitter feed, Njoku Emmanuel, Lazerpay’s founder and CEO, shared that the company had been struggling to secure funding.

The startup has advised its clientele to withdraw their funds either by using bank or cryptocurrency withdrawal options before April 30, 2023, when the startup will officially cease operations and despite efforts to stay afloat, they are shutting down the firm.

 In his statement, the closing firm’s CEO noted:

“We are immensely grateful for the connection we have made and the impact our platform has made in the crypto ecosystem. We fought hard to keep the lights on for as long as possible, but unfortunately, we are now at the point where we need to shut down.”

It is also worth mentioning that the payment firm had previously downsized its workforce in November 2022, citing financial woes. But laying off staff was not enough to keep the company going. According to a source working at the company, the downsizing occurred after the founder rejected an unfavourable acquisition offer from an existing investor. The hard decision left only two developers, the founder and the source, working at the firm without pay.

Lazerpay has enabled over 3000 businesses and merchants to make and receive payments in Naira, cedis, US dollars, Kenyan Shillings, UAE Dirham, and Rwandan Shillings, with the goal of promoting financial inclusion and interoperability in Africa. 

Lazerpay also has offered to sell its intellectual property (IP) to anyone interested in using it to boost the development of cryptocurrency payments. In his statement, the CEO said to the inclined parties:

“We welcome proposals from companies interested in purchasing the IP of Lazarpay and who want to continue building the future of crypto payments. We are happy to talk more about how our tech operates and how we can help you build on it or integrate with it.” 

Lazerpay was founded in 2021 and had developed an API that allowed developers to integrate cryptocurrency payments into their platforms, enabling merchants to accept payments in cryptocurrency. In their seventeen months of operation, they had served over 3000 businesses with over $1 million in transactions. Nestcoin, Voltron Captial, Nuwa Capital, and Shola Akinlade of Paystack previously endorsed Lazerpay.

African Cryptocurrency Market Suffers Major Blow

In recent times, the crypto industry worldwide has been facing significant challenges, despite once being touted as the next big thing in technology. With the promise of offering a decentralized alternative to traditional banking systems, several crypto-based projects emerged, claiming to provide financial inclusivity for all.

However, Africa has not been able to fulfil this promise. Additionally, the FTX demise last year also had a severe domino effect on the region’s crypto industry. The exchange’s collapse severely affected Nigerian crypto startup Nestcoin, which had invested funds in FTX. After FTX’s collapse, Nestcoin was left without the resources to continue its operations, leading to staff layoffs and the CEO foregoing a salary.

Due to a funding drought and a more rigorous approach to financing, investors have been hesitant to support crypto startups recently. Another Nigerian crypto startup, Fluidcoins, was acquired by Bitfinex last month after failing to secure funding for its business operations.

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