Hi Empowa Community,

Since our last update, we’ve been hard at work establishing the required partnerships among institutional investors and have made significant strides in raising investment into several projects on the continent, including phase one of Maraza in Beira, Mozambique.

To ensure this update is both relevant and more easily digested, we are splitting up our Q1 announcement into blockchain-focused updates and will publish a second update that is more TradFi-focused.

Empowa Launches in Kenya

We are excited to announce another rent-to-own project in Africa, this time in Kenya.

Presently, our data collection efforts encompass nine African countries through the Empowa Pay tool. This data serves as a cornerstone in shaping our expansion strategies. Our reach must extend beyond Mozambique. Doing so not only mitigates risk but bolsters capital raising in the region. The scale of what we do is well beyond just Mozambique, and this needs to be both seen and proven.

This has seen us focus our effort on launching in other markets, and Kenya has been the first to be ready to kick off their pilot. The initial Kenyan launch will include two near-completion homes, with occupancy due in May.

The funds for these homes will come from the Cardano Summit NFT and our treasury. The developer is BrownCap Capital; the rest of the properties in this development have either been sold or are being retained by the developer for ongoing management. We will feature more on BrownCap in the coming weeks.

BrownCap has been using Empowa Pay for data recording since the middle of last year, which has helped us to track their performance and evaluate this project. Photos of the development can be seen below.


Kenya Phase Two

Last month, Glen and Greg visited Nairobi. The purpose of this trip was to view the homes mentioned above, meet with funders and run a workshop with EY’s (Ernest & Young) East Africa office. This workshop was to kick off a relationship that will see EY and Empowa work together to bring rent-to-own and instalment sales to the region.

Despite being Africa’s 3rd largest economy, with one of the most sophisticated financial markets and a population of 53 million people, Kenya has only around 27,000 mortgages.

The reasons for this are known well by now by our community – the financial system is geared toward the 20% formal market and is traditionally conservative. The opportunity to open the affordable housing market to the other, informal 80% presents a significant opportunity, which EY has also identified and motivated them to work with our technology innovations. Our pilot is the preamble to a larger project that will include 100 homes in Kenya, with more details to be released in due course.

The project will be the first collaboration with EY. EY will provide support to investors by doing the financial modelling, due diligence and ensuring compliance while Empowa will provide and support the technology. This relationship provides innovation and added confidence to affordable housing developers, financial institutions and institutional investors.


The Launch of Collateral NFTs

As part of the due diligence for larger investments, institutional investors have requested proof of our EMP collateral concept as well as a demonstration of liquidity. To meet this requirement, we will be launching our Staking V2.

The Marketplace

The process for launching Staking V2 will start with the launch of the marketplace. This is needed so that the collateral NFTs can be traded in EMP, avoiding the currency risk of having to trade an NFT that has an EMP reward in ADA. The marketplace, along with the audited smart contract, will launch in mid-April. For more information on why we’ve built our own NFT marketplace, check our blog post here.

The marketplace will be there to allow for the trading of NFTs in our token; naturally, the NFTs can be traded on other marketplaces if the seller and buyer are happy to trade in ADA.

Liquidity Drive

As outlined in our black paper, our EMP token is crucial in collateralizing a portion of the funds allocated for rent-to-own contracts. While the properties themselves still back these contracts, EMP tokens offer an additional layer of liquidity, enhancing confidence for current and future funding partners.

To complete due diligence with our funding partners, our next step after the marketplace launch is to demonstrate market liquidity.

In our pursuit of delivering the best possible experience, we are planning to work with the current Cardano DEXs to raise the level of liquidity for the EMP token. This will create more opportunities for EMP holders to earn on their tokens.

More on this will be announced in the coming weeks, but we are aiming to launch this after the marketplace and before the NFT sale.

The Collateral NFT

The collateral NFTs will go on sale in May. The NFTs will support collateral for the 35 homes in Mozambique as well as the additional two homes in Kenya. For this initial launch, we have calculated that 370,000 EMP are needed to underwrite the funding for the homes. The approach for determining this level is explained in our black paper a video explaining the approach can be viewed here. The initial NFTs will lock up this EMP for 1 year. There will be 4,111 NFTs sold for 90 EMP each. At the end of the period, Empowa will repurchase the NFT for 100 EMP. Priority will be given to FC NFT holders as well as those who hold the Summit World NFT.

You can find out more about the collateral NFTs here.

Staking V1 to be Extended

In addition to the above, we are extending the V1 Staking by another 6 months to provide even more utility for the EMP token.

This will mean that by the end of May, EMP holders will have the option to either stake their EMP token with Genius Yield, buy collateral NFTs with their token, or earn yield for supplying liquidity.

We are grateful for community members who have continued to support our mission. The above covers the major blockchain-related updates. As mentioned, we are excited to further share the details of several developments in the institutional investor space later this week.


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