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Honoree Headshot

Chris Maurice

Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer
Yellow Card Financial, Inc.

Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Founded: 2016
Industry: Fintech

Don H Bravaldo

In 2016, Chris Maurice partnered with Justin Poiroux to envision a way to introduce bitcoin to Africa. The idea came after the pair witnessed a customer’s frustration at facing $90 in fees for wiring $200 to family in Africa via a traditional wire transfer.

The two partners launched business operations in Nigeria in 2019. Since then, Yellow Card has focused on a single goal: making cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ethereum and tether accessible to anyone throughout the African continent.

Under Maurice’s leadership, Yellow Card has raised nearly $60 million in funding to date. The company has received backing from several of the most prominent investors in the U.S. fintech space, including Polychain Capital, Coinbase Ventures, Celo Ecosystem, Valar Ventures and Square.

Now closing in on a $1 billion company valuation and available in 16 African countries, Yellow Card has quickly become “the fastest-growing cryptocurrency exchange on the African continent,” Maurice said.

The company currently has over 1 million retail customers and employs more than 200 people across Africa, North America, Europe and Dubai.

“In the next five years, we will make it easy and affordable for anyone, anywhere in Africa to interact with the digital currency ecosystem,” said Maurice. “They’ll be able to send and receive money and control their own finances. Making basic financial services accessible to 1.2 billion people via crypto is not just a pipe dream. It’s something we’re actively pursuing every day.”

In addition to making crypto exchange more readily accessible across Africa, Yellow Card is working diligently to improve access to financial literacy across the continent through its Yellow Card Academy. The free online platform provides education about cryptocurrency, blockchain technology and personal finance best practices.

“At only age 26, Chris Maurice has already achieved more than most do in their entire careers in both a personal and professional capacity,” said his team. “From being featured on the Forbes 30 Under 30 List to frequently engaging with the media, regulators and government leaders, Chris has proven that he is indeed a Titan of the industry.”

A results-driven entrepreneur, Maurice is nonetheless careful to remember the people at the heart of his mission. “Chris is courageous in his pursuit to build a company that positively impacts the lives of people living across Africa,” his team added.

Before launching Yellow Card, Maurice made a career of reselling Pokémon cards on the internet — a business venture he first started when he was only 12. In addition to being an entrepreneur, he is a former freelance sportswriter and a frequent public speaker. His speaking engagements include appearances at the Africa Fintech Summit and interviews with the BBC, Bloomberg and CNBC Africa. He and Poiroux were featured together in the 2023 Forbes 30 Under 30 lists in the Finance and Big Money Startups categories.

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Chris's entrepreneurial ventures started in high school, paying his way through college selling Pokemon cards online and ghostwriting for over 200 publications. He started his fall down the crypto rabbit hole in 2013, which led him to sell Bitcoin out of a network of Taco Bells before starting Yellow Card. Chris is also a blackbelt in taekwondo and an eagle scout.

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