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CV VC

CV VC goes to Africa

Celebrating and nurturing the emerging blockchain ecosystem in Africa together with the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO)

Ke nako, it’s time!

The CV VC team and Véronique Haller (SECO) inside a South African Spaza shop

The African continent is at the center of CV VC’s current expansion strategy. The kick-off with the Africa Week in Johannesburg and Cape Town in November 2021, hosted by CV VC and SECO, the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, was more than successful. Together with Binance Smart Chain, the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative, the Khayelitsha Bandwidth Barn, and the University of Johannesburg, we introduced the world to the thriving African blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystem.

A hotbed for blockchain adoption
With around 1.3 billion people, Africa is the second most populated continent globally. In numbers: In the past year, cryptocurrency adoption in Africa has grown by over 1,200%. Such growth has earned Africa the number one spot for having the fastest adoption rate worldwide. Additionally, 57% of the people in Africa do not have a bank account. It is a common theme in life where circumstance advances evolution. Years of issues from many contributing factors have caused Africa to suffer from basic infrastructure problems. As a result, it has inadvertently created the perfect environment for blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies to thrive because of their many applications and the many problems they solve.

CV VC and SECO have partnered to embrace the rapidly evolving African ecosystem. Together we are actively seeking out and engaging with the variety of talent and innovation that Africa offers. With the know-how and experience of Crypto Valley, combined with a worldwide network of partners and resources, our mission is to accelerate further the already fast-paced innovation and adoption of blockchain and cryptocurrencies in Africa.

Two countries, one common goal
For 15 years, Switzerland and South Africa have enjoyed intense collaboration in education, research, and innovation. The first exchange between actors from both countries using blockchain solutions to tackle real-world issues was initiated in 2019. Switzerland, through the SECO, is funding the blockchain ecosystem in South Africa project to promote innovative private sector initiatives.

Véronique Haller, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Switzerland in South Africa, comments: «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 developing the South African and African blockchain ecosystems.»

The incubation program is a precursor to CV VC’s public-private partnership with SECO, which intends to see CV VC build the first-ever blockchain-focused Accelerator for Africa. The goal of this Accelerator is to invest in 100 startups from the African continent over the next four years. This Accelerator will focus on startups that work across the supply chain, healthcare, fintech, and Government sectors.

Africa teaches us about real use cases
CV VC has had tremendous success since its launch. The company has received more applications from African startups than the rest of the world.

Nnamdi Uba of HouseAfrica, who has joined the incubation program, says: «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 build a system whereby all property transactions will be recorded safely, securely, and transparently. Nigeria is a country where data is still largely documented on paper. Blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize this. We are excited to be a part of the CV Labs Incubation Program, the longest established incubator and the most experienced blockchain ecosystem in Europe.»

Africa is teaching us about real use cases of blockchain and the opportunity it presents for greater inclusion.

Gideon Greaves, Managing Director at CV VC Africa, says: «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.»

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