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Libra competitor Celo to offer $700k grants to 13 start-ups

Foundation hopes to 'impact communities in need'

The Celo Foundation, the open-source payments network seeking to steal a march on Facebook's troubled Libra Foundation, has announced its first bunch of development grant recipients.

It stated that its chosen start-ups will “provide building blocks to help strengthen the Celo protocol, provide more access to the financially underserved and develop programmes to help educate and nurture the Celo community”.

While the San Francisco-based network is still accepting proposals until 19 May, out of the current 50 applicants, 13 projects will each receive funding of $700,000 (£564,000, €640,000).

These start-ups include Chorus One, Gitcoin, Figment, Gauntlet and Chainsafe, among others. But also international outfits, from the Indonesian digital gift card platform Beam & Co; the Brazilian crypto-backed platform for small paid tasks LoveCrypto; the bill remittance service; the payments platform Pay with Mon and the charity marketplace platform eSolidar.

Through helping developers create mobile apps, the Celo Foundation is considered to be the closest competitor to the Libra Association in the race to popularise the use of stablecoins. Indeed, it shares a number of the same founding members from Andreessen Horowitz, Anchorage Mercy Corps, Coinbase Ventures and Bison Trails.

The news that start-up funding has not completely shrivelled up as the Covid-19 recession sets in will be welcomed by innovators and investors alike.

Indeed, in a blog announcement the Celo Foundation stated: “Especially in the time of crisis, we all have the opportunity to impact communities in need and get them the relief that they urgently need.”

FURTHER READING: Airbnb announces $250m relief fund for hosts struggling with Covid-19 impact

FURTHER READING: Alliance for Prosperity seeks to beat Libra in stablecoin race

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