The new joint venture, based in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), will focus on investments across the digital assets spectrum, including market infrastructure, risk and compliance tools, DeFi, tokenisation, consumer payments, and the Metaverse


SC Ventures, SBI to create new Digital Asset JV. (Credit: Pierre Borthiry - Peiobty on Unsplash)

Standard Chartered’s fintech investment arm SC Ventures and Japanese financial services business SBI have partnered to create a new Digital Asset Joint Venture in UAE.

Both SC Ventures and SBI intend to jointly invest $100m into the new investment company, which will be based in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

The new Digital Asset Joint Venture is expected to make investments ranging from seed to Series C funding in companies operating in markets worldwide.

It will make strategic and minority investments in market infrastructure, risk management and compliance tools, DeFi, tokenisation, consumer payments, and the Metaverse.

SC Ventures said that the Digital Asset Joint Venture is one of its several strategic initiatives and will continue to invest and expand our footprint across the digital assets’ ecosystem.

SC Ventures CEO Alex Manson said: “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.

“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 current announcement follows last year’s MOU between SC Ventures and SBI Holdings, to jointly expand their portfolio and explore new ecosystems.

It also builds on Standard Chartered’s MoU with DIFC this year to collaborate on digital assets, including digital asset custody, which would benefit Dubai and the wider UAE economy.

Earlier this year, SC Ventures sold its stake in Switzerland-based financial software provider Metaco to its US-based blockchain and crypto solutions company Ripple for $250.

Recently, HSBC has teamed up with Metaco to introduce a new digital assets custody service for institutional clients who invest in tokenised securities, with plans to begin operations in 2024.

SBI Holdings representative director, chairman, president and CEO Yoshitaka Kitao said: “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.”