Crypto Valley Venture Capital (CV VC) and its ecosystem enabler—CV Labs have launched a hub in South Africa— CV Labs Cape Town, the African region's first in situ blockchain incubation and ecosystem hub.
As an initiator of Crypto Valley, Switzerland—arguably the world's most mature blockchain hub, with a favourable regulatory landscape and 14 blockchain Unicorns, the opening of CV Labs Cape Town is a result of CV Labs actioning its renowned expertise to enable blockchain as a transformative tech in Africa.
CV Labs already has blockchain hubs in Switzerland (Zug) and Liechtenstein (Vaduz). This new hub in Africa will soon be followed by an opening in Germany (Berlin). This expanding global footprint is exciting for the global blockchain startup scene and is a testament to CV Lab's growth and the strength of its international team.
The launch of CV Labs Cape Town is a culmination of Switzerland and South Africa's engagement with blockchain technology in the ambit of bilateral education, research, and innovation cooperation which began in 2019. This comes after, SECO's visit to the Universities of Pretoria, Stellenbosch, Western Cape, and Cape Town, highlighting the continuation and growth in the South African-Swiss collaboration around blockchain technology. SECO is the Swiss government's centre of excellence for all core issues relating to economic policy.
"Our commitment to Africa is to enable blockchain startups to catalyze greater socio-economic wellbeing for its people and industries," Gideon Greaves, MD CV VC Africa, said. Prior to the launch of CV Labs Cape Town, CV VC has invested in 12 African startups, published the African Blockchain Report (in collaboration with Standard Bank) and also began the formation of an African Blockchain Early Stage Fund.
With a very young, hungry for change, and techno-savvy population, Africa is no stranger to using digital means of transacting and exchanging value. While Africa has adopted cryptocurrencies rapidly, most notable is that blockchain technology use cases go far beyond crypto, reaching towards all industry sectors, from finance to agriculture, property to utilities.
In a statement shared with Benjamindada.com, Emmanuel Ebanehita, Marketing Director of Binance Africa said that "while actively participating in Africa, we are proud to have provided blockchain education to over half a million people on the continent. The determination of the African people to propel their future through engagement in new technologies such as blockchain is thrilling. As such, we are pleased to collaborate with CV Labs Cape Town to advance the ecosystem and drive the adoption of blockchain."
Per BD Tracker, African blockchain-enabled startups jointly raised $139 million in H1 2022. South Africa-based crypto exchange, VALR's $50 million Series B was the highest amount raised by a startup in this sector. VALR is now valued at $240 million, arguably the largest crypto funding round in Africa at the time of this report.
According to Ian Putter, Head of Blockchain Centre of Excellence at Standard Bank Group, and Regional Director of the Blockchain Research Institute Africa, "one of the most powerful aspects of blockchain is the ability to create 'programmable money' that can assist in eliminating fraud and human error in transactions and foster transparency in financial records. We are very excited to see the opening of CV Labs Cape Town as it will enable the further emergence of blockchain as a resource from which Africa can build great blockchain enterprises."