UAE Blockchain enabled Virtual asset exchange closes new funding
MidChains, virtual asset trading exchange and custodian based in Abu Dhabi, has closed its latest funding round with investments from Mubadala Capital, the asset management arm of Mubadala Investment Company; Miami International Holdings; the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) and other notable regional investors.
Operating within Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), MidChains is seeking to provide one of the world’s first fully regulated and supervised ecosystem infrastructures for virtual asset trading and investing under the ADGM Financial Services Regulatory Authority’s (FSRA) regulatory framework. MidChains is expected to launch trading operations in 2020, subject to FSRA approval.
“We are thrilled to strengthen our partnership with Mubadala Capital’s ventures arm and welcome Miami International Holdings and Abu Dhabi Investment Office as new investors and trusted partners,” said Basil Al Askari, co-founder and CEO of MidChains. “As we aim to launch the MidChains platform later this year, the backing of established institutions will enable us take the next steps in our development while supporting our long-term growth strategy, which is aligned with Abu Dhabi 2030 Economic Vision objectives, in regards to the development of financial markets. We are proud to be the only Emirati founded virtual asset exchange in the capital and our group of world class shareholders bring a wealth of international experience that will allow us to build a global business out of Abu Dhabi.”
“There has been significant interest in MidChains since we made our initial investment in 2019,” said Ibrahim Ajami, Head of Ventures at Mubadala. “We are therefore pleased to increase our commitment ahead of the launch of MidChains’ virtual asset trading platform, which is expected later this year. A key tenet of our strategy is to establish strong, enduring partnerships and we look forward to supporting MidChains build global operations from its headquarters in Abu Dhabi.”
“We are excited by the prospect of MidChains becoming one of the first regulated exchanges for virtual asset trading and investing, as it aligns with our ambitions to scale our business globally in areas including digital assets,” said Thomas P. Gallagher, Chairman and CEO of MIH. “We look forward to being long-term, value-added partners and together pursuing technology licensing and product listing opportunities throughout the world.”
ADIO has invested through its Ventures Fund, an initiative of the Ghadan 21 accelerator programme created to support innovation-focused startups in Abu Dhabi. H.E. Dr. Tariq Bin Hendi, Director-General of ADIO, said: “Abu Dhabi continues to grow as a FinTech hub, laying the foundation for exciting technology developments in the emirate and across the region. MidChains’ mission of becoming one of the first fully regulated trading venues in its field is aligned with ADIO’s belief in supporting companies with innovation at their core. We have invested in MidChains as part of our commitment to ensure that promising startups are given the help they need to take off and grow in Abu Dhabi, providing them with capital and support to develop cutting-edge solutions of global and regional significance.”
Mubadala’s asset investment arm, Mubadala Capital was established in 2011 and operates six integrated businesses focused on various asset classes and geographies that include private equity, public equities, credit, ventures, sovereign investment partnerships and Brazil. The unit invests globally across the capital structure in both public and private securities. In 2017, Mubadala Capital’s launched a $400mn US-focused venture fund out of San Francisco. In 2019, it launched a €400mn European-focused venture fund based out of London and a $150m MENA-based fund based out of Hub71 in Abu Dhabi.
In addition to managing its own balance sheet investments, Mubadala Capital manages third party capital on behalf of institutional investors in four of its six businesses.