Pryce Adade Yebesi, the co-founder and COO of Utopia Labs, is a man on a mission, recently becoming one of the youngest black founders to raise $23 million for his company.

Initially focused on providing services to Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs), the project has since broadened its scope to accelerate the adoption of crypto payments. With the fresh funding in hand, the team is rolling out its newest fiat-payment product.

"We're incredibly excited to launch this product and continue to harness the power of crypto rails," Yebesi explained. "We're aware they're faster and more cost effective than traditional payment systems, and we're committed to building solutions that make it convenient to drive the adoption of crypto payments."

This strategic shift has been marked by the recent launch of Utopia's off-ramp solution, a service that promises to bridge the gap between crypto and traditional financial systems.


"Originally, we started serving DAOs because we believe they are an excellent way for organizations and people to come together and pool resources and talent to accomplish significant goals," Yebesi told Decrypt. "While we still serve quite a few DAOs, we're expanding our operations to serve more types of crypto payments."

Opening markets to as many people as possible is part of his objective to aid marginalized communities, a value deeply inspired by his mother's dedication to assisting the underserved in her role as a doctor.

"One of the things that were most exciting to me about the promise of DAOs was the potential to allow people, no matter who they are or where they are in the world, to have access to life-changing opportunities," Yebesi said.

Observing her efforts to assist disenfranchised individuals, he came to understand the transformative potential of financial empowerment. He personally witnessed how providing individuals with access to financial tools could grant them ownership and agency, thereby uplifting them in all aspects of life, including their health and well-being.


Yebesi took this idea to inform an internship with Jim McKelvey, co-founder of Square, during his college years. The experience inspired him to follow in McKelvey's footsteps and co-found Utopia Labs.

"Historically, marginalized communities have been left out of most technological revolutions,” he says. "The fact that DAOs are permissionless is particularly interesting in his eyes, as anyone can have access to join in. “The scale of the upside of engaging with them is massive, and no one is barred from it,” Yebesi says. “People from all over the world can work together to build these communities that can change the lives of many."

When asked about his unique experience as a black crypto founder, Yebesi maintains a humble and optimistic outlook.

"We operate as a team, and I share this journey with my co-founders," he told Decrypt. "Crypto is an inclusive space that welcomes individuals beyond the conventional founder archetype. Our fundraising journey was as challenging as any other crypto founder's experience, a reality about the field that I deeply respect and admire."

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