UAE based MIRAI Capital Global, has made a non-binding commitment of $7 million to invest in DigiMaaya, a digital assets exchange and bank.

As per MIRAI website, MIRAI Capital Globbal aims to revolutionize global investing, in collaboration with Royal Office of H.H. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Faisal Al-Qassimi. The firm is based in Ras El Khaimah UAE.

It includes the following members, Dunston Pereira (Group CEO of the Private Office of H.H. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Faisal Al-Qassimi), Pranav Jyoti (Chief Investment Officer for the Private Office of H. H. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Faisal Al-Qassimi and MD, MIRAI Capital Global) along with Vinoth Beemjee (Senior Partner and Regional Head, APAC, MIRAI Capital Global).

MIRAI Capital global has identified the massive opportunity that DigiMaaya digital assets exchange will offer. It directly addresses democratizing financial purchasing through fractional asset offerings via a comprehensive marketplace and other product mixes.

Mr. Pranav Jyoti mentioned that DigiMaaya’s innovative tech solutions use the latest technology stack, building the pillars to forward Industry 4.0 thesis via emerging tech like Blockchain, AI, Encryption and Cryptography, VR, etc.

APAC Lead and Senior Partner, MIRAI Capital, Vinoth Beemjee, additionally said, “Since DigiMaaya will allow users to benefit from its suite of services like Trading, Loans, Insurance, Tax calculator, Financial Health Card. This investment by MIRAI Capital Global is a strong bet on smart services being built by a seasoned Team.”

Utsav Dar, Founder & CEO, DigiMaaya shared his vision regarding the company and the benefit of this investment through MIRAI Capital Global, “At DigiMaaya’s core, we believe in taking care of all our stakeholders, i.e. our investors, users, employees and vendor partners. Our internal processes are aligned with our company culture and our team’s common passion fuels our drive to create a user centric, global, regulated and compliant Financial SuperApp.”

DigiMaaya digital assets exchange and bank, comprises a team of Industry leaders & Specialists with varied expertise who have aligned themselves to the vision of building DigiMaaya as a Fintech super app. This global team includes Heero Punjabi (Co-founder and CTO), Punnoose Joseph (Co-founder and Chief Technology Architect), Preet Gill (Co-founder, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications), and Dr. Chiraag Jain (Chief of Staff and Chief Operating Officer).

Utsav Dar emphasizes on DigiMaaya’s USPs: A 100% licensed and regulated App with robust and transparent audit mechanisms for trust building, 3-level Appellate solution across 9 languages for seamless customer support, Steady liquidity addressing a major problem in the current illiquid market, and a Transition to Web3 through informative educational series and incentivized user benefits.

UAE based IOTA ecosystem, DLT Foundation, has committed $10 million investment fund to support early-stage startups and ventures in the UAE and Africa. The funding will focus on TradeTech, TradeFinance, and tokenization solutions.

It aims to bolster a digital tradetech ecosystem in the UAE, Africa, and around the globe by advancing the roll-out of digital trade and finance solutions. The initiative builds on a recent collaboration agreement for the establishment of the TLIP organization, announced at WTO MC13.

The first investments will be shared publicly over the coming weeks and will include newly founded tradetech ventures and dedicated startup accelerator programs for startups building on IOTA.

This announcement follows the official signing of the collaboration agreement for the Trade Logistics Information Pipeline (TLIP) at the WTO MC13 event. TLIP is a public global trade infrastructure initially developed by the IOTA Foundation and TradeMark Africa. The TLIP Consortium will be founded jointly by the World Economic Forum, the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, Trademark Africa, the Institute of Export and International Trade, and the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation. Together they will advance TLIP by developing a neutral governance framework and establishing TLIP as a global, public goods infrastructure for trade.

With its investment of $10 million, IOTA supports a flourishing tradetech ecosystem that advances trade digitization, and, in doing so, makes trade finance more accessible for all. The funds are earmarked for early-stage startups, accelerator programs, and pilot programs that will drive the development of digital trade infrastructure.

Dominik Schiener, Co-Founder of IOTA and Chairman of the IOTA Foundation, emphasized the strategic importance of this initiative: “By investing in the future of TradeTech, we are not just facilitating smoother trade transactions; we are laying the groundwork for a more interconnected and efficient global trade ecosystem. Our collaboration with leading organizations through the TLIP is a testament to our commitment to innovation and excellence in this field.”

This initiative will be kickstarted with the launch of a public grants program over the coming weeks, followed by an accelerator program for startups in the UAE before summer and in Africa before the end of the year. These programs are designed to empower entrepreneurs and innovators who are building new trade solutions on the IOTA and TLIP infrastructure, offering them the resources and support needed to bring their visions to life.

Saudi Arabian based Blockchain enabled Insuretech platform TakaDAO has won 2nd place at Meet the Drapers Season 6, winning $500K in funding.

Sharene Lee, Co-Founder of TakaDao stated on LinkedIn, “ We’re thrilled to announce that Takadao has secured 2nd place on Meet the Drapers Season 6 and clinched a whopping $500k in funding! It’s a testament to the hard work, dedication, and ingenuity of our incredible team. We couldn’t have done it without the unwavering support of our amazing Takatribe and the relentless efforts of every member of our team. Your belief in us has been our driving force, and we’re profoundly grateful for each and every one of you.”

Meet the Drapers, is a global entrepreneur show, where startups can pitch their ideas and win funding. Tim Draper is the host of the show. In its Season 6 it carried out a show in Saudi Arabia.

This is not the first funding received by TakaDAO. The company received a strategic investment from Cardano accelerator Adaverse in January 2024.

Adaverse focuses on scaling Web3 solutions. This came at the heels of Adaverse’s expansion into Saudi Arabia with the opening of an office in Riyadh. Adaverse is now the first venture capital fund in the KSA to specialize in Web3 and blockchain early-stage investing. In 2024, the company plans on investing $10 million in local Saudi Web3 startups.

Furthermore in October 2023 Takadao, raised $1.6 million in pre seed round led by Draper Associates. Other investors include BIM, Core Vision ventures, Prince Sultan Bin Fahad bin Salman Al Saud.

Sygnum Bank which has a regulated digital asset bank in the UAE, alongside Hamilton Lane, and Apex Group announced a cross industry project that expands global private market access to significantly larger and more diverse groups of qualified investors using Blockchain.

Leveraging the power of the blockchain, the new DLT-registered share class automates and integrates traditionally separate fund management functions, increasing both accessibility and efficiency. The first fund to feature the new share class will be Hamilton Lane’s USD 3.8bn GPA Fund, which has an annual average performance growth of 14.6 percent and has outperformed the MSCI World Net Total Return Index (USD) by 4.44 percent since inception in 2019.

Leveraging Sygnum’s DLT solutions, the minimum investment has a significantly lower fund entry point than direct investments into traditional private markets’ evergreen funds. These DLT-registered shares will be available exclusively to Sygnum professional, institutional and corporate clients.

The unique investment opportunity is the result of a strategic, cross-industry project underway for more than a year. Hamilton Lane, a leading global private markets investment firm with over USD 900bn in assets under management and supervision, will serve as investment manager for the new offering. Apex Group, in its role as transfer agent and fund administrator (via Apex Fund Services regulated in Luxembourg), and FundRock-LRI, in its role as Alternative Investment Fund Manager (AIFM), is leveraging Sygnum’s DLT solution to manage the on-chain share registry.

Victor Jung, Head of Digital Assets at Hamilton Lane, says “We strongly believe that tokenisation has the potential to transform the way investors gain access to the historically strong returns and performance opportunities within the private markets, and are delighted to announce this digital-native, institutional-grade offering with Sygnum and Apex. This joint initiative with the Swiss Private Wealth team underscores the region as a leading digital asset hub that we believe will serve as a catalyst for broader adoption within the banking and wealth management industry. We would like to invite the community to join us in this movement.”

Fatmire Bekiri, Sygnum Head of Tokenisation, says “The new DLT-registered share class in Hamilton Lane’s GPA Fund marks the first entry in Apex’s on-chain share register. This is a significant breakthrough in making private markets more broadly accessible and investible via DLT solutions. We are proud to join forces with other industry leaders like Hamilton Lane and Apex, and we look forward to this strategic partnership delivering a series of new and unique opportunities for investors, as well as heralding positive, blockchain-powered change for the industry.”

Bruce Jackson, CFA, Apex Group Chief of Digital Asset Funds and Business says “Hamilton Lane will raise new investor capital, while expanding direct access to their GPA Fund offering. Clients of Sygnum Bank now have access to a sophisticated alternative asset class, designed to achieve significant alpha through uncorrelated investment returns. Apex continues to meet its goal of increasing access for its clients’ alternative strategies and will continue to perfect its Framework Operating Model for the distribution of alternative asset funds using blockchain as the subscription, onboarding, operating, administration, and transfer agency platform.”

This unique investment opportunity is made possible by Sygnum’s expertise in leveraging the blockchain’s capabilities in a fully-regulated environment. Novel project aspects include the “fractionalisation” of assets to enable smaller investment entry-points, streamlined compliance, the end-to-end automation of the on-chain share registry and transfer agent activities, as well as increased levels of transparency due to the open nature of DLT. This project is built on the Polygon blockchain.

According to McKinsey5, the +300% growth of global private markets fundraising between 2009 and 2022 was due to its consistent outperformance of public markets. However, the multi-million-dollar commitments that were typically required to participate in this high-growth market have, until now, limited private markets exposure for many in the broader investment community.

Sygnum closed a $40 million round, which valued the firm at $900 million earlier this year.

The BackPack group continues to move from one success to another. After receiving its crypto exchange license in UAE, and expanding to 11 states in the USA, BackPack has now raised $17 million in a series A round led by PlaceHolder VC.

Other select strategic investors includedHashed, Robot Ventures, Amber Group, Wintermute, Selini Capital, Delphi Digital, and founders of leading web3 ecosystems such as Solana, Tensor, Jito, Zeta, Marginfi, Drift, Monad, Galxe, and other influential supporters worldwide.

Armani Ferrante, CEO of Backpack commented on the news states, “The history of finance is littered with scandals, but Backpack is doing things differently. Over the past year, we’ve set the foundation to build a crypto-native financial institution, and with the conclusion of this round, with trust minimization and compliance as foundational principles, we begin a new chapter for ourselves and, hopefully, for the rest of the industry.”

The Backpack ecosystem comprises several products and services, including the popular Backpack noncustodial wallet, Backpack Exchange, a fully regulated global cryptocurrency exchange with industry-leading speed, security and functionalities, and Mad Lads, currently the top NFT community in the Solana ecosystem. Backpack is also the creator and developer of Anchor, the Solana smart contract framework, the executable NFT (xNFT) token standard, and others.

Backpack’s strategic fundraising was led by Placeholder VC. “We’ve been impressed with Backpack’s ability to not only deliver high-quality applications, but also build a strong community around their ecosystem,” said Joel Monegro, General Partner at Placeholder VC. “After building a relationship with the team over the past year, we’re convinced they have the skill, ambition and drive to create one of the most trustworthy global exchanges in the industry with a strong focus on performance, compliance, and auditability.”

The round also attracted strong interest from other leading web3 ecosystem players. “The Backpack team is a great example of what happens when crypto natives are also strong builders. They understand that crypto is not just the underlying technology, it is also the culture that forms around it,” said Evgeny Gaevoy, founder of Wintermute, one of the largest liquidity providers in digital assets, “For me, Backpack is having the success I would expect, when a team figures out the intersection of tech and culture. I’m excited to see them continue to grow.”

UAE HAYVN investors, Deus X Capital, a $1 billion family office has agreed to buy out HAYVN digital assets infrastructure provider and appoints Richard Crook as new CEO. Deus X Capital will purchase the business brand, technology, clients and staff from other HAYVN shareholders.

The parties have agreed to the asset purchase, subject to completion.

As per the press release, the deal provides the opportunity to recapitalize and reinvigorate the business as it seeks to consolidate its presence in the Middle East, while allowing for growth globally.

In addition, Richard Crook has been appointed interim CEO of HAYVN with a focus on growing the business and realizing the global opportunities ahead of it. Ahmed Ismail, Board Member & Co-Founder of HAYVN had told LaraontheBlock that they would be appointing a new CEO in December 2023.

Crook joins HAYVN following more than 25 years in the digital assets and investment banking industries, including roles such as COO of BCB Group, the digital assets payments business, and Head of Emerging Technology at investment bank RBS after serving in senior management roles at UBS.

Tim Grant, CEO, Deus X Capital, speaking on the asset purchase stated, “HAYVN is an innovative business at the forefront of the movement to a democratized financial system. We are committed to providing institutional clients with the critical services they need to capitalize on the existing and growing opportunity in digital assets, while continuing to build and develop new capabilities. HAYVN is core to our strategy and represents another pillar of our commitment to the Middle East region.”

Richard Crook, interim CEO, HAYVN, said: “I am delighted to join a business that has already established itself as a leader in financial technology and a fundamental pillar of the digital assets ecosystem. The digital assets industry is growing at a rapid pace as it continues to converge with traditional financial services, and I look forward to ensuring that HAYVN is central to that growth as we build on our success.”

This comes after the ousting of their previous CEO under difficult circumstances.

In a recent X post by HE Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, he noted that the UAE government will be accelerating the adoption of technologies such as AI (Artificial Intelligence) and Blockchain into the global trading system.

The Initiative called Regulation 5.0 for the Future of TradeTech and the Trade-Sustain-AI Initiative will identify key trends in trade technology and provide a blueprint for a harmonized global regulatory system to oversee their deployment.

According to Al Zeyoudi this is especially important for developing countries to avoid widening the technology gap.

Al Zeyoudi stated on X platform, “At the inaugural TradeTech Global Forum today, we launched two important initiatives that will accelerate the adoption of technologies like AI and Blockchain into the global trading system: Regulation 5.0 for the Future of TradeTech and the Trade-Sustain-AI Initiative.

He added, “Our Trade-Sustain-AI initiative will create global partnerships to oversee the development of AI-powered trade solutions that will advance sustainable practices throughout supply chains – and help promote a smarter, cleaner trading system.

The comments were made during the Abu Dhabi World Trade Organization Conference being held in Abu Dhabi between Feb 26th and 29th. The conference had metioned that decentralization of global supply chains would be on the table for the first time.

The conference witnessed that attendance of 165 nations and trading blocs. WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala noted in an interview with WAM, “We will initiate new dialogues, called deliberative sessions, where, for the first time, the ministers will engage on issues crucial to the contemporary world, including trade and environment, trade and climate change, trade and sustainability, and trade and inclusion.”

She advocated the decentralization of supply chains, expanding them to developing countries.

Moreover during the conference, Blockchain Foundation, IOTA announced its partnership with the World Economic Forum, Trademark Africa, the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, the Institute of Export and International Trade, and the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation.

As per their press release, “Together, we are embarking on a transformative journey to revolutionize international trade through the creation of the Trade Logistics Information Pipeline (TLIP). International trade has long been burdened by inefficiencies, bureaucracy, and lack of transparency. The cumbersome process of trading goods across borders involving numerous documents, multiple actors, and intricate regulations often leads to delays, errors, and even fraudulent activities. Recognizing the urgent need for a reliable and transparent digital trade infrastructure, our coalition is committed to fostering a neutral governance framework for TLIP.”

TLIP aims to streamline information exchange and promote collaboration across borders. It builds on IOTA’s distributed ledger technology (DLT) to provide data immutability and security. It performs the same function as a government stamp on a trade certificate to prove authenticity – just made digital.

Customs in destination markets will not need a stamped physical Certificate of Origin when using TLIP. However, while physical documents are subject to fraudulent risks, the TLIP system ensures transparency and immutability of the relevant details of uploaded documents.

TLIP ensures that a digital certificate is authentic and prevents it from being tampered with. IOTA also provides distributed controls, so each trade actor can manage their data and give access permission without outsourcing the permission controls to a centralized entity enabling a digital-based collaboration much like how the free market of trade works manually today.

Furthermore, using IOTA’s DLT enables parties to interact securely online without requiring a centralized platform that stores all information and is vulnerable to hacking or manipulation.

The Dubai based entity of WadzPay, WPME Technology, which specializes in blockchain based technology for virtual assets has been granted a Virtual Assets Service Provider (VASP) Licence for Virtual Asset Broker-Dealer service activities, better known as crypto broker license, by Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA).

The crypto broker licence remains non-operational until the company fully satisfies all remaining conditions and select localisation requirements defined by VARA, following which it will be able to commence operations, subject to regulatory reverification and approval.

As per the press release, WadzPay is excited to deliver its innovative and industry-leading solutions to customers across Middle East while working closely with regulators in contributing to build a compliant and robust fintech ecosystem.

Mr. Anish Jain, Founder & CEO, WadzPay stated “This licence showcases WadzPay’s dedication in promoting innovation in the field of virtual assets domain and blockchain technology bringing us a step closer to delivering world class solutions to businesses in Middle East.”

WadzPay aims to revolutionise the way people in the Middle East transact and manage virtual assets. WadzPay’s commitment to compliance ensures that financial institutions and their customers can confidently embrace the benefits of blockchain technology while adhering to regulatory standards, ultimately contributing to the growth and sustainability of the fintech ecosystem in the Middle East.

Mr. Ram Chari, Board Member and Group Director, WadzPay quoted “This will further solidify WadzPay’s position as a trusted and reliable blockchain technology based financial service provider in the region. With the broker-dealer services, WadzPay will provide the technology to its clients to enhance the experience of their customers by enabling virtual assets transactions in a seamless and secure manner. “

To which Mr. Khaled Moharem, President – MENA & Europe at WadzPay, emphasised, “This cements our hard work and sets the stage for transformative blockchain solutions, promoting compliance and customer confidence in the Virtual Assets Industry.”

WadzPay received its initial approval for a license back in October 2023.

In 2022, KSA based Geidea, a leading fintech company in Saudi Arabia and Blockchain based payments solutions, WadzPay Middle East Technology forged a new strategic partnership to power the transformation of pilgrimage payments.

WadzPay had been strivign to obtain a Blockchain settlement and payment license from VARA in Dubai, yet this will need further framework and direction from the Central Bank of UAE.

In a Linkedin Post, Bryan D’Souza, Head of Business Development and Partnerships MENA at R3 expressed his positivity to be back in Oman discussing the Central Bank of Oman’s interest in CBDC and digital tokenization.

He had recently moved to the region and settled in Abu Dhabi UAE to expand R3 partnerships in the GCC and MENA region.

He stated, “It’s fantastic to be back in Muscat, Oman with David E Rutter and Robert Wigley visiting senior representatives of the Central Bank of Oman today to discuss their interest in CBDC and digital tokenization.”

In June 2022, The Executive President of the Central Bank of Oman, Mr. Tahir Salim Al Amri, commented during the 7th Edition of the new Age Banking Summit on the topic of CBDCs (Central Bank Digital Currencies) the interest of the bank in a CBDC project.

Furthermore at the end of July 2023, the Oman Capital Market Authority issued a Public Consultation Paper on its Virtual Assets Regulatory Framework.

R3 has been working with Central banks, FMIs, commercial banks, FinTech, providing practical solutions for digital assets tokenization and regulated digital currencies, including CBDCs.

D’Souza had previously visited several countries including Kuwait, KSA, and Qatar.

R3 is also working with both the UAE Central Bank on its CBDC project as well as Saudi Central Bank.

In addition the Qatar Financial Centre Authority and R3 signed an MOU to develop and grow Qatar’s fintech industry using technologies such as DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology) back in April 2023.

After OKX received its crypto exchange VASP license from Dubai UAE through VARA ( Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority), the crypto exchange now receives a license in Turkey. OKX TR, will provide Turkish users with a trusted, compliant and transparent gateway to crypto trading and decentralized finance. The OKX Web3 Wallet is currently available in Türkiye through OKX’s global platform.

With the launch of OKX TR, users have access to enhanced localized features, including Turkish Lira direct deposits and withdrawals from banking partners such as: Fibabanka, VakıfBank, Ziraat Bankası, İş Bankası, Şekerbank and Türkiye Finans. The OKX TR team also offers 24/7 local customer support in Turkish and English, ensuring users receive timely assistance and comprehensive guidance when needed.

Also available is OKX Wallet, a non-custodial Web3 wallet that provides access to a user-friendly self-custody portal to trade NFTs, use dApps, and more. It’s the first wallet to feature both Multi-Party Computation (MPC) technology and Account Abstraction (AA) features, which paves the way for wider adoption among less technical users.

OKX President Hong Fang said: “The official launch of OKX TR is a significant milestone in our global expansion strategy. With a crypto adoption rate close to 50%, Türkiye represents a very dynamic and promising market for the industry as it continues to develop. The population’s high level of engagement and understanding of digital assets makes it an ideal environment for OKX, and we’re strongly committed to helping continue to grow this already vibrant ecosystem.”

OKX TR Board Chairman Mehmet Çamır said: “The launch of OKX TR is a testament to our belief in the country’s huge potential for growth and our commitment to the market. Already a global leader in crypto trading, Türkiye is also in a prime position to grow in the decentralized finance space. We’re excited to support this development, and firmly believe that our presence here will play a pivotal role in nurturing Türkiye’s emergence as a Web3 innovation hub.”