CRYPTO CURRENCY bank Sygnum has partnered with SBI Ven Capital to raise a new early-stage fund, targeting US$50 to US$75 million, to invest in companies that support the digital-asset economy across South-east Asia and Europe.
Digital assets include crypto currencies, security tokens and utility tokens.
Its focus areas in this space are in companies that are developing digital ledger technology-based infrastructure, decentralised finance solutions and regulatory tools, Ryosuke Hayashi, managing director and chief executive of SBI Ven Capital told The Business Times.
The fund is aiming for its first close during the first quarter of next year, he added.
Both parties said in a statement on Tuesday that they will "play an active role" with the fund's portfolio companies by enhancing corporate governance and providing business development and operational support. The partners are also intending to tokenise the fund structure.
SBI Group, the parent of SBI Ven Capital, is one of the largest private equity firms in Japan, with more than US$ 4.2 billion in assets under management. It has invested in more than 1,500 companies globally, including blockchain companies Ripple Labs and R3.
Mr Hayashi said: "Distributed ledger technology has the potential to transform financial infrastructure and spearhead financial inclusion. The SBI Group is… actively driving the growth of startups within this space through our broad ecosystem of group and investee companies as well as institutional partners."
Gerald Goh, Sygnum's co-founder and chief strategy officer added: "This fund expands the product offering for Sygnum's clients."
Sygnum, which counts Singtel Innov8 (the venture capital arm of Singtel Group) as one of its investors, was founded by a team of Swiss and Singaporean professionals. It develops its products and services simultaneously in the financial hubs of Switzerland and Singapore.
The tokenisation startup has a capital markets services licence in Singapore, and focuses mainly on digital asset investment strategies for accredited and institutional investors.