SINGAPORE – Singapore-based decentralised digital asset exchange DigiFT has raised US$10.5 million (S$14.1 million) to fund its expansion.
The new funds will be used to support licence applications in Asia, the Middle East and Europe and technology development, and to beef up the company’s innovation capabilities, said DigiFT’s founder and chief executive Henry Zhang.
The company, which now has 15 staff, plans to add up to 10 new hires. These roles are based in Singapore and remote or hybrid work arrangements are welcome, said Mr Zhang.
The pre-Series A funding round was led by privately owned Chinese investment firm Shanda Group. The group was founded by online entertainment pioneer Chen Tianqiao and family in 1999 and has four business pillars – venture capital investments, public markets investments, real estate and natural resources.
Other investors in DigiFT include HashKey Capital, a Chinese venture capital firm that focuses on blockchain, and Hash Global, a Web3 venture capital firm with offices in Singapore and Shanghai.
Singapore investment company Xin Enterprise, wholly owned by Mr Liang Xinjun, co-founder of Chinese conglomerate Fosun Group, is also an investor, as is boutique investment company North Beta Capital, which focuses on high-growth areas.
Said Mr Zhang: “The industry has been through a tough time in the past year. This fund-raise is a testament that this industry has huge potential if the gap between traditional finance and Web3 can be bridged.”
Founded in 2020, DigiFT, which has operations in Hong Kong and the United States, is the first and only decentralised exchange enrolled in the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) FinTech Regulatory Sandbox.
The company submitted to MAS in November 2022 applications for a capital markets licence and a recognised market operator licence under the Securities and Futures Act.
Being built on the Ethereum public blockchain, the exchange enables companies to raise funds using digital payment tokens and gives cryptocurrency holders direct access to traditional investment products, said Mr Zhang.