SC Ventures, Standard Chartered’s innovation, fintech investment and ventures arm, is partnering with SBI Holdings, a Japanese financial conglomerate, to establish a Digital Asset Joint Venture investment company in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The parties intend to capitalise the vehicle with $100 million.
“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. The Joint Venture will leverage SC Ventures’ experience in digital assets through our ventures such as Zodia Custody and Zodia Markets, and through our investments in fintechs like Ripple and Metaco,” said Alex Manson, CEO, SC Ventures.
In May 2023, Standard Chartered signed a memorandum of understanding with the Dubai International Financial Centre to collaborate in the digital asset space, including digital asset custody. That same month, SC Ventures exited its stake in Metaco SA, a Swiss-based tech firm offering critical software infrastructure that enables institutions to issue, secure, manage and trade digital assets. U.S. crypto firm Ripple acquired Metaco for US$250 million in its first major acquisition. Ripple is a SC Ventures portfolio company.
“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, SBI Holdings, Inc. Representative Director, Chairman, President & CEO. “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 plans to make investments ranging from seed to Series C funding with a focus on investing globally.