Nigerian startup Lopeer is a P2P cryptocurrency exchange and decentralised finance app that enables Africans to perform peer-to-peer trading, cross-border payments and access DeFi opportunities.
Describing itself as the first geolocation-enabled P2P exchange in the world, Lopeer allows users to trade cryptocurrencies either via geolocation or virtually, which it says allows it to reach a more diverse user base.
Formed in August 2021, the Lopeer team spent a year building the backend infrastructure and frontend interface before launching last year. The self-funded startup has already onboarded hundreds of users, which CEO Joseph Adediji, who co-founded Lopeer alongside CTO Eze Sunday, said was a result of the uniqueness of the solution amongst a busy crypto exchange landscape.
“Most crypto exchanges and DeFi applications are difficult to navigate and do not give you a chance to trade with people around you for physical cash. We want to make crypto simple and accessible for everyone by providing quick and safe on-ramp and off-ramp facilities and easy-to-use interfaces, especially for crypto newbies,” Adediji said.
“Our primary focus is on ease of use and providing trustless financial services for Africans by opening up new markets such as cross-border payments, savings, crowd loans, and remittances. We believe these financial services will create prosperity for Africans.
Since launch, the startup has been busy adding new features. It recently integrated a direct bank deposit feature for Nigerian users, meaning users from Nigeria can deposit naira into their Lopeer app via its P2P fiat merchant gateway. Users can also make instant withdrawals to their local bank accounts via the fiat gateway.
“We hope to expand our Fiat gateway to other African countries soon,” Adediji said.
“We have also built a Swap feature that enables users to swap their fiat to crypto and vice versa. With this feature, users from Nigeria can instantly buy or sell USDT at the best rates on Lopeer.”
It is easy to see how features like this boost usability compared to other solutions in the market, and Adediji said Lopeer’s mission was to connect emerging markets to the global financial system and lower the barriers to financial access through blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
“We are glad go be fulfilling this mission one step at a time,” he said.
For now, Lopeer is available to users in five African countries – Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, and Ghana, but Adediji said it hoped to eventually expand to the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa – one country at a time. The startup monetises via arbitrage, commissions and fees from various services it provides in-app.
“We are still in our early stages, so we do not have any profits to declare at the moment,” said Adediji.
“We believe getting the word out about Lopeer is the biggest challenge right now. Though we believe a great product sometimes sells itself, we are not betting on that. Marketing and PR is a crucial part of any product and we are gradually making headway with it.”
As evidenced by this article! Lopeer seems worth keeping an eye on within Nigeria’s – and Africa’s – developing crypto space in the coming months and years.