23-year-old Pryce Adade Yebesi is the co-founder and the chief operating officer of Utopia Labs which recently received an impressive $23 million in funding, setting him apart as one of the youngest Black founders to reach such a milestone, according to POCIT.
Desiring to bring about change in underprivileged communities, the 23-year-old almost pursued a career in politics. He recalled that as a child, he and his family frequently relocated, residing in states including Indiana, Virginia, and California. He witnessed poverty and struggle as a result and decided to do politics until he realized that was not really the avenue in which he wanted to make an impact, so he opted for business and finance.
After serving as a summer intern for Square co-founder Jim McKelvey in 2019, Yebesi quickly discovered his niche in the fintech industry. When working with McKelvey, Yebesi revealed that he learned so much about Square and how it democratized access to financial systems through its Square card reader. The tool could allow so many people from diverse backgrounds to finally be able to take credit cards to build their businesses in a way that was previously only available for bigger businesses. Yebesi was inspired to build something like Square one day.
The pacesetter started laying the groundwork for Utopia Labs, which combines conventional funding and cryptocurrencies, along with co-founders Kaito Cunningham (CEO), Jason Chong, and Alexander Wu. He dropped out of college in 2021 to focus solely on the founding of Utopia Labs and even though he was still a junior in college and only 21 years old at the time, he felt more confident after seeing how the company’s seed round was developing. TechCrunch noted that the business raised $1.5 million from investors sometime after it began operating.
The project’s initial focus was on offering services to Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs), but it has subsequently expanded to speed up the acceptance of cryptocurrency payments. The team is releasing its most recent fiat-payment solution now that it has additional funding of $23 million, Decrypt reported.
Yebesi’s primary objective is still to empower underserved communities by providing them with access to crucial financial resources and possibilities via DAOs. He said he and his team’s vision is to create “a new internet economy.”
“When value can pass so easily without so many middlemen and fragmented settlement systems, we have so many new opportunities to raise funds for causes people care about, start projects with people from all over the world that might end up being fantastic and powerful mechanisms for impact, but also can become billion-dollar companies,” Yebesi said.