SBI Holdings and SC Ventures join forces, investing $100 million in a UAE-based digital asset venture with a focus on international investments.

The Japanese financial giant SBI Holdings and Standard Chartered’s innovation, fintech investment, and ventures arm, SC Ventures, have teamed up to create a Digital Asset Joint Venture investment business in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

SBI Holdings and SC Ventures both clarified that they plan to contribute $100 million in total to establish the investment business. With an emphasis on international investment, the new Digital Asset Joint Venture intends to make investments ranging from seed to Series C finance.

Standard Chartered and the Dubai International Financial Centre signed a memorandum of agreement in May 2023 to work together in the field of digital assets, particularly digital asset custody.

The same month, SC Ventures withdrew its investment from Metaco SA, a Swiss IT company that provides essential software infrastructure for institutions to issue, safeguard, manage, and exchange digital assets. For $250 million, US cryptocurrency company Ripple made its first significant acquisition of Metaco.

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

Through our investments in fintech companies like Ripple and Metaco, as well as our businesses like Zodia Custody and Zodia Markets, the Joint Venture will take advantage of SC businesses’ experience with digital assets.

“We intend to make strategic and minority investments through our Digital Asset Joint Venture in markets infrastructure, compliance and risk management tools, DeFi, tokenization, consumer payments, and the Metaverse. This is only one of many strategic projects that we have planned, and we will keep investing and growing both locally and throughout the ecosystem of digital assets.


“Collective capabilities” unite in a new joint venture focused on digital assets

The decision was also discussed by Yoshitaka Kitao, the chairman, president, and CEO of SBI Holdings, Inc.

“We are thrilled to announce our partnership with SC Ventures to establish a Digital Asset Joint Venture in the UAE and leverage the combined capabilities of both our organisations in the digital asset space,” Kitao stated.

“After our investment forays into the portfolio companies of SC Ventures, which include Solv, Zodia Custody, and myZoi, this initiative further solidifies the strategic relationship between SBI Holdings and SC Ventures.”

The SBI Group is a global provider of comprehensive internet financial services, having been founded in 1999 as a leader in Internet-based financial services in Japan.

The Dubai International Financial Centre’s chief business development officer, Salmaan Jaffery, offered additional insight into the DIFC’s participation.

According to Jaffery, “We applaud SC Ventures and SBI Holdings for their determination to influence the financial industry going forward as they launch their first Digital Asset Joint Venture in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).”

“DIFC stands at the forefront of regulation in a world where the conversation around digital assets has quickly moved from a “why” to an excited “when.” This is because DIFC has carefully designed its ecosystem to promote an atmosphere that encourages investment, spurs exponential growth, and spurs innovation.

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