SC Ventures, SBI Holdings start UAE joint investment venture

The Dubai International Financial Centre
Fintech investment arm of Standard Chartered, SC Ventures, partners with Japanese conglomerate SBI Holdings to launch digital asset joint venture in UAE

SC Ventures, the innovation, fintech investment and ventures arm of global banking giant Standard Chartered, has partnered with Japanese financial conglomerate SBI Holdings to launch a new digital asset joint venture investment company in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The new venture will focus on investments in burgeoning UAE-based fintechs across the digital assets spectrum. These include companies specialising in market infrastructure, risk and compliance tools, DeFi, tokenisation, consumer payments and the Metaverse. 

Bolstering fintech in the UAE 

Upon launching the new digital asset joint venture investment company, SC Ventures and SBI Holdings plan to capitalise their new vehicle with an initial US$100m. 

SC Ventures CEO Alex Manson says why the UAE is the perfect location for launching a new fintech-driven investment company. 

“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.”

The launch of the new joint venture investment firm comes after Standard Chartered signed a memorandum of understanding with the Dubai International Financial Centre to collaborate in the digital asset space in May 2023. It is now doing so through its investment arm SC Ventures.

SC Ventures positioned itself to enter the UAE market after it exited its stake in Swiss-based tech firm Metaco, following the latter’s acquisition by Ripple for US$250m. 

SBI Holdings’ Representative Director, Chairman, President & CEO Yoshitaka Kitao adds: “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. 

“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.”

The new venture represents a significant boost for the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), as it looks to develop its share of innovative fintech firms in the region. 

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