Japan-based FinTech group SBI Group, Singapore-based digital asset bank Sygnum, and European asset manager Azimut Group announced on Thursday the launch of a venture capital fund of up to $75 million based in Singapore, which will invest in startup companies in the digital asset sector.

This new fund, incorporated as a Variable Capital Company, brings together the collective digital assets experience and leadership of the three founding partners to accelerate the growth of promising companies in this sector while providing qualifying investors with unrivaled access to the fast-growing digital asset economy.

“We are witnessing several innovative solutions emerging from digital asset companies, especially in decentralized applications, regulatory technology, digital exchanges, and tokenization. These solutions have the potential to facilitate trusted and secure transmission of information and value, empower businesses to access untapped pools of capital at lower cost, and democratize financial inclusion,” Co-Founder and CEO Singapore of Sygnum, Gerald Goh, said.

With SBI Ven Capital as the primary fund manager, the fund’s investment strategy will primarily focus on Pre-Series A and Series A companies developing blockchain/distributed ledger technology (DLT) infrastructure, decentralized finance (DeFi) solutions, and regulatory technology tools, Sygnum said in a statement.

These focus areas reflect the investment themes that have emerged across the digital asset economy:

  • Latest innovations in digital asset ecosystems will play a key role in the future across a wide variety of sectors
  • The digital asset and tokenized securities market opportunity is set to grow significantly, with up to 10% of global GDP projected to be stored and transacted using DLT infrastructure by 2027[1]
  • The demand for regulatory technology tools by digital asset service providers and clients will rise significantly, as regulators increasingly tighten their oversight of this sector

Sygnum said the fund is poised to take advantage of significant venture capital inflows into the industry, which amounts to 6 percent of all global venture capital funding year-to-date, up from slightly over 1 percent this time last year.

As of H1 2021, over $17 billion of investments were made into blockchain/DLT and cryptocurrency companies globally – more than five times that of 2019 – with the number of blockchain-related venture capital deals in Europe and the United States registering the highest growth rate among all technology deals closed in these markets. Seven of the 10 largest blockchain/DLT and cryptocurrency funding rounds of all time closed this year, highlighting the exponential growth trajectory that this sector has embarked on, Sygnum noted.

“DLT and digital assets are at the inflection point of mainstream adoption, and they have the potential to reduce inefficiencies and unlock new capabilities across several sectors, such as financial services and supply chain management,” SBI Ven Capital Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Ryosuke Hayashi said.

Sygnum is the world’s first digital asset bank and a digital asset specialist with a global reach. With Sygnum Bank AG’s Swiss banking license, as well as Sygnum Pte Ltd’s capital markets services (CMS) license in Singapore, Sygnum empowers institutional and private qualified investors, corporates, banks, and other financial institutions to invest in the digital asset economy with complete trust.

The SBI Group is Japan’s largest FinTech conglomerate and a global leader in blockchain adoption. In addition, it is one of the largest Japanese private equity firms with assets under management in excess of $5.55 billion. It has invested in more than 1,700 companies globally.

Azimut is one of Europe’s independent asset managers (active since 1989). The parent company Azimut Holding was listed on the Italian stock exchange in 2004 and, among others, is a member of the main Italian index FTSE MIB.

The group comprises various companies active in the sale, management, and distribution of financial and insurance products, with Registered Offices mainly in Italy, Luxembourg, Ireland, China (Hong Kong and Shanghai), Monaco, Switzerland, Taiwan, Brazil, Egypt, Singapore, Mexico, Australia, Chile, USA, UAE, and Turkey.

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