SC Ventures, Standard Chartered’s innovation and fintech investment arm, is partnering with SBI Holdings, a Japanese financial conglomerate, to establish a joint venture in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that will invest in companies across the digital assets spectrum. The parties intend to capitalize the vehicle with US$100 million.
Alex Manson, chief executive officer of SC Ventures, says the joint venture will make strategic and minority investments in areas such as market infrastructure, risk management and compliance tools, DeFi, tokenization, consumer payments, and the metaverse.
“The region is fast becoming a hub for fintechs in the digital asset space due to its strengthening infrastructure and talent. The digital asset joint venture will be an important vehicle to explore the emerging digital asset ecosystem opportunities globally,” he adds.
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, a Swiss-based tech firm offering critical software infrastructure that enables institutions to issue, secure, manage, and trade digital assets. US crypto firm Ripple acquired Metaco for US$250 million in its first major acquisition. Ripple is an SC Ventures portfolio company.
“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,” says Yoshitaka Kitao, SBI Holdings representative director, chairman, president and CEO.