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December 1, 2023
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Press release

CV VC initiates an African investment strategy to build a blockchain accelerator

Mathias Ruch, Founder and CEO of CV VC (middle), and Gideon Greaves, MD CV VC Africa (right) with Africa Week attendees

African blockchain disruptors and early-stage startups have joined CV Labs' Global Incubation Program Batch_03. The African contingent of incubatees reflects Crypto Valley Venture Capital’s (CV VC) global investment strategy, investing in blockchains’ broader applicability to solving problems and creating new markets beyond crypto.

The incubation program is a precursor to CV VCs’ public-private partnership with the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), which intends to see CV VC build the first-ever, blockchain-focused Accelerator for Africa. The African countries are adopting blockchain and crypto faster than their global counterpart. The goal of this Accelerator is to invest in 100 startups from the continent over the next four years. This Accelerator will focus on startups that work across Supply Chain, Healthcare, FinTech, and Government sectors.

Véronique Haller, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Switzerland, commenting on the initiative said:

“Since 15 years, Switzerland and South Africa have been enjoying an intense collaboration in education, research and innovation. The first exchange between actors from both our countries using blockchain solutions to tackle real world issues was initiated in 2019. Switzerland, through its State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), is funding the «Blockchain ecosystem in South Africa project» to promote innovative private sector initiatives -  the idea is to kick-start the process to attract further investors and blockchain actors into the initiative. It will also allow Swiss knowledge, expertise and experience in blockchain to contribute to the development of the South African and African blockchain ecosystems.”

In addition to the SECO support is the blockchain research collaboration between Switzerland and South Africa. The State Secretariat for Education Research and Innovation (SERI) and Department of Science and Innovation are actively pursuing research instruments for example joint projects, a research chair and academia exchanges as part of the blockchain ecosystem.  

CV Labs has already incubated 22 successful global tech teams’ pathways to success. As the incubation arm of Crypto Valley Venture Capital (CV VC), CV Labs is the heartbeat of Crypto Valley, Europe’s leading blockchain ecosystem, which is already home to 12 unicorns and nearly 1000 blockchain businesses. CV Labs Incubation Batch_03 will be nurtured by this ecosystem, systemically and organically. The beginning of this was ‘Africa Week’ where CV VC partnered up with Binance Smart Chain, the University of Johannesburg and The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative. CV VC and the start-ups traveled to both Cape Town and Johannesburg to spend a whole week working with its new batch of incubatees:

  • Mazzuma- international remittance and mobile money (Ghana)
  • HouseAfrica- Digital Property Validation System (Nigeria)
  • Pravica - decentralized communication suite for enterprises (Egypt)
  • Carmachain - p2p data marketplace for the unbanked (Nigeria)

Gideon Greaves, Managing Director at CV VC Africa said:

“I am delighted to see the evolving fruition of our project with SECO which aims to support the development of an independent ecosystem in Africa by transferring know-how and experience from Switzerland’s Crypto Valley to serve as a similar hub for Africa. We have had tremendous success since our launch, and Africa is excited! We have received more applications from African startups than the rest of the world. I believe Africa is teaching us about the real  use cases of blockchain and the opportunity it presents for greater inclusion.”

Nnamdi Uba, of HouseAfrica, who has joined the incubation program, said:

“When seeking venture capital support we chose CV VC because of a shared mutual belief that blockchain technology has the power to transform socioeconomics, solve everyday problems, and of course, change people’s lives. At HouseAfrica, we are building a system whereby all property transactions will be recorded in a safe, secure, and transparent manner. Nigeria is a country where data is still largely documented on paper and blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize this. We are excited to be a part of the CV Labs Incubation Program which is the longest established incubator and the most experienced blockchain ecosystem in Europe”.

Resultant of its recent internationalization in Liechtenstein, Africa, and the UAE, CV Labs has deepened its Incubation Program capacity to nourish a zealous entrepreneurial environment in which blockchain tech teams are equipped to transform the way the world works, interacts, and transacts. All participants receive an investment of up to $125,000 and an intensive incubation program that delivers four blocks of learning over three months. Besides the four African incubatees, the new batch includes BlockFrauds (UK) and CO2DAO (Switzerland).

Concluding CV VC’s ‘Africa Week’ whereby the CV VC team visited to work with new incubatees, Mathias Ruch, Founder & CEO at CV VC added:

“As founders ourselves, we believe blockchain technology is the unparalleled disruptive force that can power our world. Investing in these new blockchain ventures means investing in the future of our world. At CV Labs, incubatees benefit from the broader CV VC ecosystem of nearly 100 experts and mentors from various fields and all-important jurisdictions. Next to experts, our CV VC portfolio companies will support and work with the new incubatees. While CV Labs is independent, it is networked with all leading protocols, market makers, and exchanges. This network will be available to all Batch_03 incubatees”.

About Crypto Valley Venture Capital (CV VC) & CV Labs:

Headquartered in Switzerland, the private venture capital company offers seed funding and an incubation program to global tech teams in exchange for equity. In addition, CV VC provides consulting and investment advisory to corporates. As an initiator of Crypto Valley which is the birthplace of Ethereum and home to 12 Unicorns, CV VC & CV Labs is the hub of Crypto Valleys’ acumen and a global force driving the fourth industrial revolution. Through CV Labs, CV VC nurtures global ecosystems from its headquarters in Zug, Switzerland, and its locations in Liechtenstein, Africa, and UAE. CV VC has an entrepreneurial spirit as epitomized by its founders and board members. These include ex Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann, entrepreneur Mathias Ruch, investment banker Olaf Hannemann, and Philipp Rösler, ex Vice-Chancellor of Germany & Managing Director of World Economic Forum.

About the Switzerland’s Economic Cooperation and Development ration (SECO):

The Swiss State Secretariat’s (SECO’s) Economic Development Cooperation aims to promote economic growth and sustainable prosperity in its partner countries. Based on Switzerland’s international cooperation strategy, the goal of SECO’s economic development cooperation is to promote economic growth and sustainable prosperity. SECO’s economic and trade policy expertise enables partner countries to shape structural transformation, develop their private sector and integrate into the global economy. Specifically, SECO supports the creation of reliable economic framework conditions and innovative private-sector initiatives in its partner countries. This gives people and companies access to markets and opportunities, creates employment opportunities and offers future perspectives locally.

Switzerland through its State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO is the 5th largest bilateral donor country in South Africa with a financial envelop of ZAR 750 million for the period of 2021-2024 and implements more than 30 projects to contribute to inclusive economic development.

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