CV VC and CV Labs recently celebrated the graduation of the six CV Labs Batch_03 Incubatees. The incubation journey is exciting for many reasons, and the ultimate goal of our investment strategy is to accelerate and nurture startups and the entrepreneurial development journey. The Batch_03 Incubatees have illustrated yet again that blockchain technology is changing the way the world interacts and transacts.
The CV Labs Batch_03 Incubatees have grown beyond their imaginations, and we are grateful to have been a part of their already exciting journeys. Crypto Valley strikes again, and another successful Batch of Incubatees is firmly established and adding value to the global blockchain ecosystem.
CV Labs, the Incubation arm of CV VC, takes ownership of the investment acceleration process. Carefully selected blockchain startups gain access to the CV Labs Incubator, receiving funding, guidance, and mentorship from the prestigious Swiss Crypto Valley ecosystem. Such an intricate approach to nurturing the venture capital process has ensured that startups and entrepreneurs have the perfect conditions to grow and flourish.
Although this was the 3rd edition of the CV Labs Incubator Program, it was proudly the first of its kind. To keep up with the ever-changing dynamics of COVID-19, CV Labs has created a hybrid Incubator that takes place in both the digital and the physical world. A more digitized experience has made the Incubator more accessible than ever before. The digital landscape has no physical boundaries meaning that the CV Labs Incubatees are experiencing a revolutionized connection to the Crypto Valley global blockchain ecosystem. Mentors, mavericks, and experts alike can engage with and nurture Incubatees at the simple click of a button.
The CV Labs Incubator experience kicks off with a Bootcamp. Incubatees are invited to attend a one-week event in the heart of Crypto Valley. Here they receive high-quality training and will engage in unique networking opportunities.
After Bootcamp, Incubatees begin the digital learning component to the CV Labs incubator, with two phases. Block 1 focuses on technology, product, and legal aspects, while Block 2 focuses on marketing and branding. Both phases include workshops and webinars with industry experts that ensure a focused and hands-on educational experience.
As with all accomplishments, a celebration should be in order! To conclude the CV Labs incubation journey, Incubatees are invited to a one-week event in Zug where they work on their pitching skills, have the opportunity to pitch to high profile investors, and graduate from the Incubator Program in style.
This year’s Demo Day, the graduation and celebration of the Batch_3 Incubatees, took place online on Friday the 27 of January. Conveniently, thanks to its online format, individuals from around the globe were able to tune in and witness the Incubatees in action. Not only were the Incubatees showcasing their talent and blockchain solutions, but they were allowing possible investors to gain further insight into their respective projects. A panel of prestigious blockchain experts and Demo Day attendees asked questions that provided a deeper understanding of the various projects on display. The companies and their well-prepared representatives took the bull by the horns and made the most of their Demo Day opportunity.
Demo Day kicked off with a welcome and walkthrough of the proceedings by CV Labs’ Janis Aguilar. Next up, Gideon Greaves, CV VC Africa’s Managing Director, outlined the partnership between CV VC and SECO and their commitment to building an African blockchain ecosystem.
After the stage was set and the mission was clear, the stars of the event, the 6 CV Labs Incubatees, had the opportunity to present their companies.
Roanna Doe, Co-Founder and CEO of BlockFrauds, was first up and walked us through her company’s technology and solution. BlockFrauds uses a wide range of cutting-edge technologies, including artificial intelligence and proprietary algorithms, to help insurers detect fraud. Customers can create a low-friction ecosystem of data and tools to help detect fraudulent activity.
BlockFrauds is a pioneer in the landscape of fraud detection and is paving the way forward for a new landscape in the global insurance sector. With world-class AI and an excellent blockchain use-case, BlockFrauds is a modern-day fraud-fighting hero.
“Innovation and evolution are at the heart of everything we do.”
Soadad Farhan touched on how insurance companies are beginning to take bold steps in moving away from legacy systems to incorporate new technologies.
“Insurance companies transfer copious amounts of data, and it is great to see them turning to blockchain solutions to ensure a frictionless transfer process. Our timing in this market is perfect, and we can leverage off blockchain technology and the interest that insurance companies are showing in a more digitized future.”
How does the BlockFrauds revenue model work? Does revenue come from the data that is being shared, or is a commission derived from fraudulent claims that have been avoided?
BlockFrauds has a B2B SaaS model that will initially be free to use as we seed the data and will become a “cents per use” once we are more established. The expectation is to make money from licenses monthly or annually for the use of the software. Ultimately the idea is to have a value share model,” answered Roanna Doe.
When BlockFrauds was asked about their ideal customer, Roanna responded by saying,
“We think there are several ideal customers for us. Companies using image or voice data or large agile companies sharing large amounts of data would benefit from our software.”
Next, Kofi Genfi, Co-founder and Director of Business Strategy for Mazzuma, introduced his company’s solution to the global audience. Mazzuma is tackling some of Africa’s biggest challenges. With over 300,000 customers and over $100 million worth of transactions, they are disrupting Africa’s technological and financial landscape. Mazzuma is one of the leading payment platforms in Africa that utilizes mobile money, artificial intelligence, and blockchain technology to enable peer-to-peer payments.
The Mazzuma token, MAZ, is the payment medium in the Mazzuma ecosystem. Transactions on the Mazzuma platform are instantaneous and have low transaction fees. The philosophy behind the Mazzuma ecosystem is to provide a robust payment system available to the masses and provide freedom for users to use their funds in a convenient and stress-free manner.
Mazzuma was asked about the risk of a regulatory overhaul and whether this was factored into their business model? Kofi Genfi gave the following response.
“We are proud to say that we are one of the few companies in the blockchain space that have received a license from the Central Bank of Ghana. We have made them aware that we are working with blockchain-related projects, and it took us almost two years to obtain their understanding and buy-in.
The regulators now have sound knowledge of what we are doing, and as a result, we are fully compliant. We don’t look at regulation as a threat. Instead, we look at regulation as an opportunity to push our business forward. Generally, when you have a good consensus from one of the Central Banks in the region, this acts as a stepping stone to engage with other Central Banks.”
When asked about their ideal market for operating in, Kofi answered, “We are looking at funds and firms who believe in the web 3 ethos and who can help us drive the financial inclusion agenda within Africa.” Mazzuma was then asked how they can provide their users with security or insurance for the transfer or payment process? Kofi answered,
“The first aspect is our reputation. Without a good reputation, you would not operate within this space. The second aspect is that we are dealing with blockchain, which is why we are driving the web 3 agenda. We want to bring more transparency to the space, and we want more access in terms of what we can offer our customers. Coupled alongside reputation is having reputable partnerships with organizations and individuals within the space.
Nii Osae Osae Dade, the Co-founder and Director of Software Engineering, added to this by saying,
“We are trying to democratize payments by using the blockchain. Blockchain brings the power of traceability and transparency to every transaction, and it is fully available for everyone to see. Also, going through the compliance process with the Central Bank gives the public confidence and assurance that we are a regulated entity and are compliant with the country’s laws.
Mazzuma closed off with Kofi giving insight into their revenue model.
“Our most substantial revenue model is the MAZ Token sales. Users need to enter the Mazzuma economy by purchasing the token. Once we have more volume, we will make money from the flow of funds and attract further business into our ecosystem.
The next Incubatee to present was CO2DAO, a decentralized carbon credit marketplace for 1. people who want to see that their efforts make a difference, 2. for projects that want to focus on climate action — non-bureaucratic fundraising, and 3. for companies that want a trusted offsetting solution to be climate neutral.
In a world that is becoming more environmentally conscious and with regulators following suit, CO2DAO is in the perfect position to embrace the positive change that is taking place.
Olaf Cordt, Founder and CEO of CO2DAO, presented his company’s blockchain-based solution. After his presentation, Olaf was asked about the main unique selling point for CO2DAO’s solution compared to other competitors within the space?
“Our main USP is that we include people into the process. There are many B2B solutions within the space, but you need mass adoption to create a decentralized platform. A DAO and a decentralized platform are ideal for this, to reach people that are not DeFi nerds or experts but know how to download a smartphone app. Then, they can start engaging with climate action and receive rewards in the process.
Our low barriers to entry for individuals and businesses alike is our main USP. I must also add that we are engaging with other climate tech companies within the space. It is a collaborative approach and not as competitive as other industries.”
Olaf was then asked how his company plans to maintain users’ interest, ensuring they keep tracking their activities?
“Our solution would even make sense to climate deniers. Thanks to our incentive system, you don’t have to be a tree hugger to use our system. You earn by engaging in climate action. It is similar to air miles. People do it because they get something in return. For example, they earn our climate tokens and exchange them for Euros.
Upon being asked how CO2DAO plans on verifying the user’s climate action, Olaf responded by saying,
“We have put a great deal of thought into this. We have 3rd party partnerships that can link directly to us via our API. For example, a car charging facility records the user’s climate action activities, and we can calculate what their CO2 savings are as a result of that. These interfaces need independent auditors to ensure that the contracts running on the API are correct and verifiable.
When asked how much money the average individual can earn by using the platform, Olaf responded by saying,
“It depends on what the carbon market is currently trading at, the cost per ton of CO2. I recently calculated this for myself, and I would have made around 450 Euros in 2021.”
Next up to take the screen was Ndifreke Ikokpu, Co-founder and COO of HouseAfrica. HouseAfrica is revolutionizing the property investment landscape in Africa using blockchain technology that creates innovative, secure, and trusted property records, bringing dead assets to life!
Real estate is one of the riskiest forms of investment in Africa. HouseAfrica’s solution to the problem has been welcomed with open arms by the African continent.
After their presentation, HouseAfrica was congratulated for their traction and asked to elaborate on their revenue model.
Where do you see the highest margins? Is it from property developers doing queries on land ownerships or getting a percentage of the transactional volume on closed transactions that have used HouseAfrica? Ndifrike responded by saying,
“At the moment, we are seeing more revenue coming from the real estate developer’s foreign body. The value that we offer is the ability to aggregate property. Because we provide this value, stakeholders are willing to pay for it. Soon we are launching our market place. The essence of the marketplace is to create additional value for real estate developers by helping them sell faster. Through enabling the sale process, we will take a 3.5% commission. This is where we believe that we will see the highest revenue.”
“We are currently signing an exclusive agreement with a financing company (FMBN) that has over 40 mortgage banks under them. All the mortgage applications are sent directly to the application departments of these 40 banks. Applications are then reviewed, and then the banks can get back to the relevant clients and issue the mortgages.”
Such a partnership promises to be incredibly lucrative for HouseAfrica.The momentum HouseAfrica has been building will continue forward, and their platform is a solution to Africa’s property investment landscape and beyond.
Carmachain — the democratization of credit & the creation of credit data profiling
The next Incubatee to present was Ted Martynov, CEO of CARMACHAIN. CARMACHAIN is the world’s first P2P alternative credit data marketplace and provides a decentralized data exchange protocol through their API. The startup aims to democratize access to credit in Nigeria and the rest of the developing world.
Many lenders in Africa do not have sufficient or comprehensive credit data to offer customized financing for the unbanked. This is a promising opportunity for lenders and fintech companies to access customer data and information to help develop innovative financial services that reach consumers everywhere.
Access to alternative credit data is of significant benefit to consumers and lenders alike. A consumer’s digital footprint offers a comprehensive view of their socio-economic activities, enabling lenders to significantly increase acceptance/approval rates for thin-file and first-time borrowers.
CARMACHAIN was asked what type of data is typically used or analyzed to provide this alternative credit profile? Ted responded by saying,
“When we speak about alternative data points, we are talking about KYC data and transaction data that can be received by companies that are not lenders of financial institutions. For example, information about air time purchases from a telecoms company or utility bill payments that an individual has made. These data points represent an alternative view of a customer from a credit perspective. This is valuable information to help lenders build cross-validation procedures or get insights into payment behavior. What do you pay, and how often do you pay it? These are some examples of the alternative data points that we use.”
Upon being asked about individuals’ role in the process, Ted elaborated,
“Individuals play a small part in the process. We are essentially taking information from one company and sharing it with another. The individual, however, needs to provide consent for us to share their data. Without their permission, we would not be able to share the data. In the future, we wish to further incorporate the consumer into the process by allowing them to use a mobile app to help us aggregate the data that we have on them. Of course, having access to this information is valuable for the individual.”
The final presentation of Demo Day was given by Mohamed Abdou, Founder, and CEO of Pravica. Pravica has reinvented digital communication protocols to create a tamper-proof decentralized identity. This startup allows users to safeguard their information with end-to-end encryption, giving them access to complete privacy.
Pravica creates the opportunity to develop new-age business communication tools based on revolutionary decentralized networks that can positively change internal and external communication within organizations of all shapes and sizes forever! Pravica’s mission is to build a community that respects and values privacy and security.
After the presentation, Pravica was asked to elaborate on its typical user. Mohamed said,
“Our typical users are government entities, enterprises, banks, or any entity that needs to secure communication between employees within the entity and between the entity and its customers. This is why our early-stage focus is on a B2B model.”
Pravica was then asked if every message processed by the platform is stored on the blockchain? Mohamed answered,
“It is costly to store every message on the blockchain, and it is not scalable. What is important is the identity. The identity is created and secured on the blockchain, and you are the only one who has the key.”
Pravica was then questioned whether their B2B model would hamper their growth? Mohammed said, “We are addressing a pain point for organizations. There are many organizations out there that are looking to secure their communication channels. We believe that serving these organizations will allow us to establish a large client base.”
We invest in blockchain because it changes how the world interacts and transacts. Our Batch_03 Demo Day demonstrated this investment thesis. Each company clearly articulated how their solutions and technology are revolutionizing their respective industries.
Having now graduated from the CV Labs Incubation Program, all of the Batch_03 Incubatees have the necessary training, resources, guidance, network, and funding to continue forward on their respective journeys.
Do you want to join Batch_04 of the CV Labs Incubator, starting in Spring 2022? Sign up today on f6s!
CV VC is proud to have these exciting startups included in our portfolio of investments. In addition to direct investments and investment via incubation, CV VC provides qualified investors’ exposure to blockchain technology and digital assets with an investment product suite consisting of AMCs (Actively Managed Certificates).
Our AMCs have the same mechanics as a traditional venture capital fund, but with the added benefit of a fully bankable investment certificate with a Swiss ISIN that can be included in any portfolio. CV VC’s Blockchain T4T AMC (Actively Managed Certificate) allows investors to diversify their portfolios with early-stage blockchain investments alongside CV VC. As experts and accelerators in the space, we invite qualified investors to invest in the talent and innovations that we identify!
The CV Labs Incubator is one of the core components of our investment philosophy. Our Incubatees are nurtured, and their journey’s accelerated. Each Incubatee is carefully selected, and our T4T AMC boasts companies solving real-world problems. As a result, their opportunity for growth is exponential, and their presence strengthens our portfolio of investments.
If you would like the opportunity to diversify your portfolio by investing in early-stage blockchain startups, click here to find out more about CV VC’s investment products, including its Blockchain T4T AMC.
CV Labs Batch_03, a core component of the CV VC investment thesis — in action was originally published in CV VC on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.