Mara, a pan–African crypto exchange platform, has appointed Susan Younis as its Chief Marketing Officer (CMO).

In a statement, the company said Younis will oversee “end-to-end brand awareness, guide the marketing teams to develop strategy and lead Mara into becoming a digital finance and crypto market leader across Africa.”

Younis joins Mara from a similar role at Platoon, Apple’s creative artist services division that nurtures and builds the careers of independent artists. There, she oversaw marketing for African artists including Ayra Starr, Asa, Simi, Spinall, and Khaid.

Before working at Platoon, Lagos-born Younis was a marketing director at Warner Music Group, with previous stints in different roles at MultiChoice, Africa’s leading entertainment company, and Viacom, one of the largest communications and media conglomerates in the United States.

“I am thrilled to be joining Mara at such a critical time of transformation for the crypto economy in Africa,” Younis said. “The team are some of the most dynamic and forward-thinking executives in the business. I am honoured to contribute my experience in leading our marketing efforts, as we grow across Africa.”

This appointment of a CMO with broad experience shows Mara’s commitment to “increase the number of Africans who can participate in the crypto economy”. 

Per a recent report by Chainalysis, Africans received $105.6 billion worth of cryptocurrency between July 2020 and June 2021—an increase of 1,200% from the year before. Despite the widespread adoption of crypto on the continent, there’s still room for growth, as most African regulators are averse to the use of crypto, and internet penetration is still generally low in Africa, compared to other continents. 

Founded in April 2021 by Chi Nnadi, Lucas Llinás Múnera, Dearg OBartuin and Kate Kallot. Mara’s executive team and board advisors include former executives from Amazon, PayPal, Uber, Nvidia, and other Fortune 500 companies.

“Susan Younis brings a wealth of experience and rigour to this role, having spent her entire career building brands across the globe.” Nnadi, co-founder and CEO said.” Her type of knowledge is exactly what our organisation needs now to scale across the African market.” 

The crypto startup which raised a $23 million seed round in May from Coinbase Ventures, FTX, and other investors, is building a suite of products that address various crypto-finance needs for the African audience. 

Its flagship product is a consumer crypto-brokerage app that allows users to buy, send, sell and withdraw fiat and crypto assets. The company is targeting an initial launch in Kenya and Nigeria, the two countries in which it is headquartered, in the coming months.

This appointment of Younis also underscores the current trend of Web3 companies hiring talents from Big Tech and other Web2 companies. For instance, Amazon’s Pravjit Tiwana left his position as General Manager of AWS Edge Services to become the Chief Technology Officer at crypto exchange, Gemini; Google’s former vice president, Surojit Chatterjee, now serves as Coinbase’s Chief Product Officer; Ryan Wyatt, former Head of Gaming at YouTube, now leads Polygon Studios as its CEO.

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