C Ventures, the innovation and fintech investment division of Standard Chartered, will collaborate with SBI Holdings. Their goal? To form a groundbreaking Digital Asset Joint Venture. This strategic enterprise is poised to be established within the vibrant commercial landscape of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Moreover, it will have an impressive starting capital of $100 million.
The UAE And Digital Assets
The inception of this joint venture is more than a financial move. It’s a testament to the UAE’s rapidly evolving status as a nexus for fintech innovation, particularly in digital assets. The venture is set to harness the combined prowess of its founding firms. SC Ventures brings its extensive experience in digital assets, derived from ventures such as Zodia Custody and Zodia Markets. It also leverages successful fintech investments like Ripple and Metaco.
Alex Manson, the helm of SC Ventures, elucidates, “The region is swiftly transforming into a beacon for fintechs specializing in digital assets, buoyed by robust infrastructure and a rich talent pool. This new venture will serve as a crucial conduit to navigate and capitalize on the burgeoning opportunities within the global digital asset ecosystem.”
Earlier in May 2023, Standard Chartered laid the groundwork for this initiative by signing a memorandum of understanding with the Dubai International Financial Centre. It focuses on collaboration within the digital asset domain, including custody services. Coinciding with this was SC Ventures’ strategic divestment from Metaco SA. It signaled a key transition as the U.S. cryptocurrency titan Ripple stepped in with a substantial $250 million acquisition, marking its first significant purchase.
Elevating Digital Asset Perception
The venture’s ambitious and multifaceted strategy targets strategic and minority investments across various areas. These include market infrastructure, risk management, compliance tools, decentralized finance (DeFi), tokenization, consumer payments, and the emerging Metaverse. Manson further emphasizes the venture’s commitment to continuous investment and expansion within the regional and digital asset landscapes.
Yoshitaka Kitao, the leading figure at SBI Holdings, shares this enthusiasm, remarking, “Our joint venture with SC Ventures in the UAE is a thrilling step forward, and it leverages the collective strengths of our organizations in the digital asset arena. This move cements our strategic alliance and builds upon our prior investments in SC Ventures’ portfolio companies.”
The digital finance world is witnessing a paradigm shift, where the conversation has rapidly transitioned from a tentative ‘why’ to an assertive ‘when.’ At this pivotal juncture, the Dubai International Financial Centre is a pioneering entity, lauded by Salmaan Jaffery, its Chief Business Development Officer. He commends SC Ventures and SBI Holdings for their visionary approach, acknowledging their contribution to sculpting the future of finance.
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