Blockchain enabled Silal traceability agriculture and food safety platform, backed by Abu Dhabi’s ADQ has acquired a majority stake in SAFCO Group, a leading food and beverage distributor in the UAE.

Prior to this, UAE’s ADQ, Silal, announced the launch its blockchain powered platform to trace the lifecycle of food from farm to fork. As per the news using the new traceability service is as simple as scanning the QR code of a Silal Fresh product through the Silal App.

Today, the acquisition of SAFCO integrates with Silal’s strategic growth ambitions and significantly strengthens its presence in the hospitality, restaurant and catering segment, leveraging SAFCO’s 30-year track record in importing, distributing and exporting a wide array of premium food and non-food products across the UAE, Middle East and Africa. The acquisition integrates with Silal’s strategic objectives and growth ambitions.

SAFCO’s acquisition is a pivotal step in enhancing Silal’s capacity to meet the market’s demand for a wide range of high-quality products and will accelerate the company’s efforts to enhance its food distribution.

UAE’s ADQ, Silal, which enhances agriculture and food safety in Abu Dhabi by diversifying and stimulating food production sources via technology, research and knowledge transfer initiatives for farmer, has just launched its blockchain powered platform to trace the lifecycle of food from farm to fork.

As per the news announcement, using the new traceability service is as simple as scanning the QR code of a Silal Fresh product through the Silal App. This traces the journey of crops, assuring users that the data appearing on their screen is credible.

This move is a milestone towards achieving food credibility, gaining customers’ trust and loyalty.

Enhancing food chain transparency is important for companies to ensure consumers of the quality of their products and to sustain efficient supply in the market, prevent foodborne illnesses, and detect the source of a problem in the event of an outbreak.

Knowing the source of food is essential for good health and wellbeing, which drove Silal to exert efforts to give full access to explore the origins of Silal Fresh products.

Through its traceability project, Silal aims to create a resilient supply chain system that advances agricultural goals and sustainable practices.

ADQ had set up a $200 million fund to invest in Digital assets, supplychain and Fintech. 

ADQ has been investing in various startups, including blockchain ones, and recently UAE Fuze has raised $14 million led by Further Ventures which is backed by ADQ. 

ADQ is also partnered to create a bitcoin mining farm with Marathon Digital. 

In an SEC Filing dated January 27th 2022, USA based Marathon digital Holdings, a digital asset mining entity, announced that it had entered into a shareholder’s agreement with FSI ( FS Innovation), the BTC mining subsidiary of UAE ADQ a sovereign fund,  to form an Abu Dhabi, ( ADGM (Abu Dhabi Global Markets) based company.

As per the filing, the joint UAE ADGM based company will establish and operate one or more mining facilities for digital assets. The business entity will be in the field of digital asset/crypto mining.

The initial phase will consist of two digital asset mining sites comprising 250 MW (megawatts) in Abu Dhabi UAE.

Marathon Holdings will own 20% of the joint company in UAE only. The cost of the project will be $406 million.

This new comes after UAE based Phoenix Technology which embarked on establishing a $2 billion crypto-mining farm in the UAE,  announced in November 2022, that the biggest crypto mining project in the region will be completed in the next six months, Q2 of 2023.  The press release at the time noted, “The project will be finalized within six months, giving the region a taste of technological advancement and development.”

In February 2022 Phoenix had announced it was part of the group of entities developing the UAE crypto mining farm in an interview with well renowned crypto and Blockchain lawyer Irena Heaver.

Crypto mining is an integral part of the development of crypto economies, and the MENA region is opening up to exactly these economies. Already the GCC and MENA region has become an attractive destination for crypto mining. 

During Binance Week 2022, Khalifa AlJaziri, AlShehhi, Commercial Affairs Regulatory Sector Projects advisor at the Ministry of Economy in UAE, claimed that the Dubai World Trade Center Authority (DWTCA) would be legislating the crypto mining sector. He stated, “We are setting the guidelines and rules needed to regulate crypto mining within this crypto framework.

The UAE is not the only country that has shown interest in crypto mining. Oman Investment Authority (OIA) took part in a $350mn equity round in Crusoe Energy Systems. The US firm helps oil and gas producers cut flaring by using stranded natural gas to power cryptocurrency mining. Crusoe systems set up operations in Oman as well. 

Abu Dhabi’s ADQ and Further Ventures, an investment firm back by ADQ have launched a $200 million fund focused on Fintech, digital assets and supplychain.

As per the news, entrepreneurs and experienced executives who choose to launch their next venture with Further will have access to product and engineering resources for concept development; seed capital required to take the business to Series A; and reserved capital for following on through multiple rounds of funding beyond capital investment.

Further ventures also has a dedicated team that provides legal and regulatory support, talent sourcing and recruitment, operations, and business development expertise with access to some of the largest organizations in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region as well as venture builders globally, as part of Further’s extensive network.

Further is focused on building, digital asset payments products, blockchain asset custody, security solutions, marketplaces, wallets and other infrastructure for institutions. In addition to Fintech, such as wealth management, SME finance, financial inclusion, remittance, and payroll .

Finally they will focus on supply chain examples of which include digital freight and warehouse management companies and other supply chain-related business.

In addition to launching its own ventures with founders, the firm will also establish the Further Network by actively investing in and co-creating start-ups with leading global venture builders.