Our business model as a venture capital firm is pretty simple: we need to make sure we always attract the best blockchain founders in the world, and we always need enough funding to invest in those startups. We are delighted to report that in 2021 we not only achieved both but exceeded them.
So far, we have invested in 37 early-stage startups from 20 countries and four continents. 27 of these seed companies have gone through our incubation program, and we have invested directly in 10 startups. We have completely revamped the program, making it more decentralized, global and flexible, and thus also aligned with the current COVID dynamic. The incubator is now hybrid. All courses will be virtually accessible so that startups can work worldwide.
Market confirms our investment approach
An active year comes to an end from a venture capital investment perspective. After three years of investment activity, investors understand our approach and appreciate the result of our strategic and systematic investment model. Our investment focus for new portfolio additions in 2021 centered on three main themes: First, we focused heavily on companies that contribute to a functioning digital asset ecosystem, such as custody, tokenization, security, and other service providers. Second, due to our operational expansion in Africa, we had a much-improved view of attractive use cases on the continent and could add four attractive projects from the region through our global incubation program. And finally, we wanted to invest additional capital in some of our most attractive early-stage portfolio investments to support their growth ambitions.
Together with the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), we successfully launched our pioneering public-private partnership with an Africa Week in November. SECO and CV VC are building a bridge between Africa and Switzerland by jointly establishing an ecosystem for technological and entrepreneurial exchange and launching the first blockchain-focused accelerator for Africa.
The corporate world, the startup ecosystem, government agencies, universities and investors have welcomed our CV Labs in Cape Town, South Africa, with open arms. It is exciting to see how blockchain technology inspires young entrepreneurs in Ghana, Nigeria or Egypt and how they want to conquer the world with their ideas.
In addition to our investments from the balance sheet, we offer qualified investors the opportunity to invest with us via a range of different financial products. To complement our existing venture capital investment certificate “Blockchain Technology for Tomorrow” we have expanded our offering with the launch of new investment products in the area of digital assets (Bitcoin, Liquid Crypto and DeFi). The so-called Actively Managed Certificates (AMCs) are offered in partnership with DuLac Capital, MRB Vermögensverwaltungs AG, Kraken, and GenTwo Digital; all are trusted parties from our ecosystem. Other products are planned for 2022.
CV Labs back in full swing
Speaking of the ecosystem, our CV Labs have recovered well from the COVID shock. All our offices in Zug and Liechtenstein are leased. And just as importantly, we again held our flagship events and Meetups. One highlight was the three-day CV Summit Leadership Circles after the summer break, where top-class speakers and a curious audience met on-site in Zug. We were also present at the Euro Finance Week in Frankfurt and Slush in Helsinki.