Switzerland Welcomes New Blockchain Accelerator, VC Firm
A new accelerator and venture capital firm called Blockchain Valley Ventures (BVV) was launched on Thursday in Switzerland. The new firm counts former executive members of IBM, UBS and SAP as well as Lykke Corp. as partners and will provide investment, financing, and advisory services for blockchain ventures.
Based in Switzerland’s Crypto Valley in the city of Zug, BVV will focus on investments in, and the incubation and development of, business ventures that utilize blockchain technology in various industries. The firm will initially focus on Swiss and European-based projects and investment opportunities, leveraging the Crypto Valley’s developed ecosystem of blockchain startups, blockchain-experienced lawyers, auditors, tax advisors, and financial regulators.
“BVV’s core mission is to build bridges between startups and investors, assisting those projects which offer real, substantive benefits to the global digital economy and the blockchain sector as a whole,” said Oliver Bussmann, a board member of BVV, the president of the Crypto Valley Association, and the former group CIO and group managing director of UBS. “Our partners are proven and successful companies who support the further development of a credible blockchain-powered ecosystem – both within Switzerland and internationally.”
Switzerland boasts one of the world’s largest blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystem, supported by business-friendly regulations and the government’s rather positive stance towards cryptocurrencies and blockchain. The Crypto Valley Association was founded in January 2017 to further accelerate the development of the sector in the city of Zug and across the country.
Heinrich Zetlmayer, general partner at BVV and the former vice president and country leader of IBM Global Business Services in Switzerland, said BVV’s long-term vision was to develop the firm into “a leading management holding in the crypto space, offering assistance to projects we believe have real potential to have lasting effects on industries primed for disruption.”
“Blockchain technology has already shown itself to be a highly disruptive force across all manners of industry – from supply chain management, to e-commerce, and fintech,” he said. “We are excited to be facilitating and supporting the continued transformation of our shared global digital future.”
BVV will boast a wide range of services including capital investments through its own funds and investment vehicles such as the Blockchain Investment Opportunities Note in cooperation with venture capital (VC) firm Vicenda Asset Management AG. It will also offer business, financial, initial coin offering (ICO), and marketing support until projects have critical size and operate independently, as well as assistance in token technology design and creation, and implementation of Lykke’s open source technology.
Lykke is a Swiss blockchain startup that provides a trading platform for cryptocurrencies and financial assets built on top of blockchain technology. The company said it will support BVV with portfolio companies assistance and advice in launching and scaling blockchain-enabled businesses.
“As ICOs have become the new normal, it is no longer necessary to wait until you have accumulated significant revenue to make your dreams into reality. However, many would-be token-issuers need guidance which is neutral, independent, and unbiased,” saif Richard Olsen, founder and CEO of Lykke Corp. “BVV provides this quality support, offering the necessary advice and assistance so that inspired businesses may fully recognize their potential.”
BVV will fund new businesses using a “hybrid model” of investing that combines traditional venture capital investment and ICO. The new model is said to be designed to “optimize not only the capital-raising of BVV portfolio companies but to serve as a key tool in accelerating their growth and business development, offering significant benefits compared to more conventional investment mechanisms.”