Japan’s internet-based financial conglomerate SBI Group has partnered with Singapore- and Switzerland-based digital asset bank Sygnum to launch an early-stage fund, which will invest in digital asset possibilities across Southeast Asia and Europe.
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These opportunities will primarily be focused on financial market infrastructure and enterprise solutions being developed for the emerging digital asset economy, as per a press statement.
Both partners expect to play an active role with the fund’s portfolio companies by enhancing corporate governance and providing business development and operational support.
They also intend to tokenise the fund structure in order to increase accessibility for investors and offer them the potential for greater liquidity post-investment.
“This fund expands the product offering for Sygnum’s clients, providing unique investment exposure to the innovation and growth in digital asset solutions,” said Gerald Goh, Sygnum’s Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer. “At the same time, Sygnum is able to support and accelerate the growth and development of a trusted digital asset ecosystem by investing in the talent and opportunities in the space.”
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Digital assets and the underlying distributed ledger technology (DLT) have immense potential to revolutionise the financial system and democratise asset ownership. While still in the nascent stages of development, the industry has seen exponential growth and increasing levels of interest from institutional investors.
As a hotbed of innovation, it is attracting many talented entrepreneurs looking to disrupt the status quo, and DLT-related global private investments have also increased almost seven times over the last five years.
Sygnum is a digital asset specialist with a capital markets services (CMS) licence for asset management in Singapore and a Swiss banking and securities dealer licence. It has also played a role in launching a number of Swiss digital asset-focused startups over the past two years.
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The SBI Group is a leading global internet-based financial conglomerate. In addition, it is one of the largest Japanese private equity firms with AUM in excess of USD 4.2 billion. It has invested in more than 1,500 companies globally and leverages its extensive eco-system to further drive the value of its investments.
The group is a founding member of the Japan Security Token Offering (STO) Association and investor in the space, having invested in prominent DLT companies such as Ripple and R3. It currently has investments or overseas offices in more than 20 countries.
SBI Ven Capital is a VC firm that invests in financial services and technology sectors across Asia.
In September, Switzerland passed a wide-ranging legislation opening the door to cryptocurrencies and decentralised finance (DeFi), enabling companies to create digital shares, as well as a range of other tradable assets.
In comparison, Southeast Asia is still in the developing stages of the industry and has become the hotbed attracting many entrepreneurs and institutional investors.
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