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Swiss crypto fund CV VC has invested $75k in SA startup PocketJam, confirms co-founder


Swiss investment company Crypto Valley Venture Capital (CV VC) has invested $75 000 in Cape Town based crypto startup PocketJam, a platform that incentivises children to solve math problems to earn pocket money.

Last week CV VC CEO and founder Mathias Ruch revealed in a statement that the investor is looking at whether or not to set up an African chapter in Mauritius (see this story). In the statement he mentioned that through its CV Labs Incubation Programme, the Zug based investor had invested in two blockchain startups with “South African roots”.

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While he did not reveal the names of these South African startups, Ventureburn can confirm that one is PocketJam, a platform that incentivises children to solve math problems to earn pocket money.

PocketJam is one of at least two SA startup that Swiss crypto investor CV VC has invested in via its incubation programme

The startup took part in CV Labs inaugural 10-week incubation programme held in Zug, Switzerland from April to July. A second cohort, which started in November, is currently under way, includes another Cape Town based startup Wildcards and Johannesburg based Xion.

Xion makes it easy for retailers to utilise subscription models and engage with their customers to supply products globally by using the distributed ledger technology.

This, while Wildcards allows users to help save endangered animals by trading what it calls, “digital endangered animal collectables”.

It’s not clear how much CV VC invested in Wildcards or Xion. CV VC says on its website that it invests “up to $125K” in startups that it selects to take part in the incubation programme.

PocketJam co-founder Nick Hill (pictured above) told Ventureburn today that the $75 000 from CV VC was invested in return for a 10% stake in the startup.

Hill, whose LinkedIn profile page currently lists him as a blockchain fund asset manager at Cape Town based Invictus Capital, co-founded with Catherine Whitehead and Berlin-based Nick Parkin in December last year.

He said he and his co-founders applied for the incubation programme late last year when applications opened. At the time he said he and the two other co-founders were only working part-time on the startup and tested the idea with friends and family, before applying for the programme.

The programme, included a bootcamp, has helped to accelerate the startup, he says.

“They take you through pitchdeck creation and product iteration and put you together with investors,” explained Hill.

In a video posted on Facebook, Hill explained that the app works by first getting parents to set a monthly pocket money amount. Following this, kids can unlock the pocket money by solving math questions. The children can either spend or save the money, while parents get a progress report on how their children are learning.

CV VC and CV Labs said in last week’s statement that their team had evaluated more than 800 startups for two rounds of its incubation programme and over 1000 projects for seed phase funding from 54 countries across 27 different industries. The CV VC investment portfolio currently includes 26 investments in startups from 13 countries.

Read more: Swiss crypto investor CV VC mulling setting up African chapter in Mauritius

*Correction: PocketJam landed $75 000 from CV VC, not $70 000, as reported earlier. Sorry about that.

Editor’s note (11 December 2019): Subsequent to the publication of this story, we were told by CV Labs that Johannesburg based Xion is also part of the current two cohort. The story has been updated to reflect this.

Featured image: PocketJam co-founder Nick Hill (Facebook)

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