SC Ventures expands into Abu Dhabi's tech ecosystem

New office targets regional tech innovation and fintech growth.

SC Ventures, the fintech investment and ventures arm of Standard Chartered, has officially opened a new office in Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), United Arab Emirates, aimed at tapping into the region's technology and business innovation ecosystem, venture building capabilities, and access to local talent. 

Gautam Jain, Member of SC Ventures, will lead the operations at the new Abu Dhabi office.

"The opening of our Abu Dhabi office marks a significant milestone in our strategy to engage and enhance the fintech and startup ecosystem across the UAE," said Gautam Jain.

He explained that the initiative would include forming partnerships within the UAE venture capital community and investing in promising growth opportunities. The office aims to create a collaborative ecosystem involving universities, the academy, journalists, and other venture capital entities to promote fintech and innovative business models in the region.

SC Ventures' move into Abu Dhabi follows its recent partnership with SBI Holdings, a Japanese financial conglomerate, to establish a Digital Asset joint venture investment company in the UAE. 

"This joint venture, which we've capitalised with a $100 billion fund, is focused on investing in the digital asset ecosystem and fintech sector," Jain elaborated. He highlighted that the UAE is quickly becoming a central hub for talent and capabilities in the digital assets space, making it an ideal location for such ventures.

The joint venture will leverage SC Ventures' experience in digital assets and fintech investments, such as Ripple, and will focus on developing market infrastructure, risk management, compliance, and decentralised finance (DeFi) tokenization. 

"We aim to explore emerging digital asset ecosystem opportunities globally from this region," Jain added, underscoring the strategic importance of their location in Abu Dhabi.

Moreover, Jain discussed how SC Ventures plans to support the UAE's broader objectives, which include the ambitious goals set forth in the UAE's Vision 2030. 

"The UAE is methodically building an ecosystem aimed at developing over 1000 SMEs and startups by 2030, with the goal of creating at least 20 startups valued at more than US $1 billion each by 2030-2031," he stated.

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