Zug-based Venture Capital firm CV VC announced to open an office in Cape Town. The goal is to invest in early-stage blockchain startups and build up an ecosystem that supports their work. That’s the fourth office of CV VC, besides the CV Labs in Zug, Vaduz, and Dubai.

Blockchain is gaining traction across the African continent. According to the 2020 Global Crypto Adoption Index, South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria have the highest crypto and blockchain adoption rates globally. CV VC’s goal in Africa is to invest in 100 startups that can tackle the challenges of the African continent over the next four years.

“We are happy to start our Africa chapter with an initial foothold in South Africa, a thriving hub for entrepreneurs, developers, and creatives, and an already well-established startup and technology ecosystem. With the experience and know-how from Crypto Valley, including infrastructure providers, an enabling regulatory framework, and our global network, we will be able to accelerate growth for blockchain startups and grow the blockchain ecosystem in all of Africa”, said Mathias Ruch, CEO and founder of CV VC. 

With support from Switzerland

CV VC teamed up with partners from the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, and local stakeholders. SECO also signed a special agreement with CV VC to support the development of an independent ecosystem in South Africa. The Crypto Valley in Switzerland and Liechtenstein will serve as a hub for Africa by transferring know-how and experience. With this agreement, CV VC leverages the aspirations of the Swiss Government to set a foreign policy focus on its Africa Strategy.

The Swiss Embassy in South Africa will also establish a blockchain chair at the University of Johannesburg in September. It cooperates with the University of Zurich, and the chair will be financed in equal parts by Switzerland and South Africa. 

Open for applications

CV VC has appointed Gideon Greaves as its new Managing Director Africa. “I’m incredibly excited to be a part of CV VC’s journey into Africa. Being a leapfrog population, we are in a prime position to adopt this disruptive technology, and I believe this continent can lead the crypto and blockchain charge”, says Gideon Greaves.

Four startups in CV VC‘s portfolio have African roots:

  • Math for Money, an app that aims to create a financially independent future generation by teaching children basic math and introducing positive financial behavior.
  • Xion, a platform that helps merchants to manage customers, subscriptions, and sales, with minimal effort to sign up and use only two code lines.
  • Wildcards, which allow individuals to transparently ‘adopt’ an endangered animal and contribute to sustainability through a fun and engaging platform.
  • Proof of Impact, a data intelligence platform that helps impact investors to transform static impact data reporting into a digital solution.

The next CV Labs incubation program starts at the end of September. Applications are open via cvlabs.com/incubation. The five most promising projects will be invited to the program in Switzerland or virtually and receive an investment of up to USD 125,000.

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