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SC Ventures, the innovation, fintech investment and ventures arm of Standard Chartered, and SBI Holdings, a Japanese financial conglomerate, are partnering to establish a Digital Asset Joint Venture investment company in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The parties intend to capitalize the vehicle with $100 million.

The joint venture will focus on investing in companies across the digital assets spectrum, including market infrastructure, risk and compliance tools, decentralized finance (DeFi), tokenization, consumer payments, and the Metaverse.

“The region is fast becoming a hub for fintechs in the digital asset space due to its regulation, strengthening infrastructure and talent. The Digital Asset Joint Venture will be an important vehicle to explore the emerging digital asset ecosystem opportunities globally,” said Alex Manson, CEO of SC Ventures.

“Our Digital Asset Joint Venture plans to make strategic and minority investments in areas such as market infrastructure, risk management and compliance tools, DeFi, tokenisation, consumer payments, and the Metaverse. This is one of several strategic initiatives and we will continue to invest and expand our footprint in the region as well as across the digital assets ecosystem,” Manson added.

“We are thrilled to announce our partnership to establish a Digital Asset Joint Venture in UAE together with SC Ventures and bring to bear the collective capabilities of both our organisations in the digital asset space,” said Yoshitaka Kitao, Representative Director, Chairman, President & CEO of SBI Holdings, Inc. “This initiative further solidifies the strategic relationship between SBI Holdings and SC Ventures following our investment forays into SC Ventures’ portfolio companies including Solv, Zodia Custody and myZoi.”

“We congratulate SC Ventures and SBI Holdings on their drive to help shape the future of finance as they forge ahead with their first Digital Asset Joint Venture in Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). In a world where the conversation around digital assets has rapidly evolved from ‘why’ to an eagerly anticipated ‘when,’ DIFC stands at the forefront of regulation, having meticulously tailored its ecosystem to foster an environment that nurtures investment, fuels exponential growth, and drives innovation,” said Salmaan Jaffery, Chief Business Development Officer, DIFC.

The Digital Asset Joint Venture is expected to make investments ranging from seed to Series C funding with a focus on investing globally.

About SBI Holdings

Established in 1999 as a pioneer of Internet-based financial services in Japan, the SBI Group is a comprehensive Internet financial group that operates globally, encompassing five core businesses:

  • Financial Services Business: securities, banking and insurance businesses
  • Investment Business: private equity investment including venture capital investment
  • Asset Management Business: various asset management related services
  • Crypto-asset Business: crypto asset trading and exchange services
  • Non-financial Business: business activities related to biotechnology, healthcare and medical informatics,Web3, and new overseas markets

About SC Ventures

SC Ventures is a business unit that provides a platform and catalyst for Standard Chartered to promote innovation, invest in disruptive financial technology and explore alternative business models.

About Standard Chartered

Standard Chartered is a leading international banking group, with a presence in 52 of the world’s most dynamic markets and serving clients in a further 64. Its purpose is to drive commerce and prosperity through its unique diversity, and its heritage and values are expressed in its brand promise, here for good. Standard Chartered PLC is listed on the London and Hong Kong Stock Exchanges.

This is a significant development in the digital asset space, as it shows that two major financial institutions are committed to investing in this growing sector. The joint venture is also well-positioned to capitalize on the opportunities in the UAE, which is becoming a hub for fintech and digital asset innovation.

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

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