Dubai based Bahrain’s Investcorp, the alternative asset manager, recently announced the launch of the first dedicated institutional blockchain fund from its base in Abu Dhabi, with a global investment mandate.
First Gulf Blockchain Fund
According to the company on Monday, eLydian Lion, led by Investcorp’s Abu Dhabi office, will invest globally and focus on investments in companies leading the next digital evolution driven by blockchain technology.
Additionally, the fund manager says this initiative will be the ‘first dedicated institutional blockchain fund based in the GCC’ and focus on companies leading in blockchain-enabled tech.
Hazem Ben-Gacem, Co-CEO at Investcorp, noted: “We have a strong track record in technology investment and will bring our institutional expertise and global reach to bear on this fast-growing area of technology,”
Investors can have early access to the rapidly growing blockchain technology with the fund, which would lead to a smooth transition to economic digitalisation. It will invest mainly in early-stage companies with expertise in blockchain infrastructure, platforms and exchanges, decentralised finance, and data analysis.
Investcorp’s Abu Dhabi office will handle investments funds and global deployment. Ben-Gacem added: “Offering our clients innovative and bold investment ideas, backed by our disciplined and proven approach, has been a key element of our success over the last four decades.”
A Major Move by Investcorp’s
Investcorp was established more than four decades ago and has developed to be one of the region’s leading alternative asset management companies. With the company’s vast experience, it has invested across many asset categories and geographies. Furthermore, Investcorps engaged in an acquisition exercise during the COVID-19 pandemic to gain on lower asset valuation.
Additionally, the company raised $40.4 billion in assets under management at the end of 2021, including assets managed by third parties, and it is looking to further spread its investments by expanding its technology portfolio.
In September 2021, Investcorp Technology Partners acquired international FinTech company MIR Limited, a company with experience in payment platforms and e-wallet solutions.
According to Investcorp:
“Blockchain technology and the ecosystem around it has the potential to transform every facet of our economy, much like the internet did in the 2000s.”
Furthermore, the head of Investcorp’s technology private equity business, Gilbert Kamieniecky, added: “We have already seen the potential of blockchain to disrupt existing markets and create new ones, such as the meteoric rise of the non-fungible token’s market that in just a few years has grown from under a billion to more than $40bn.”
“This new fund will support the most innovative entrepreneurs worldwide who are developing the blockchain ecosystem and defining the future digital economy,” he said.
Blockchain technology attracting institutional investors
Cryptocurrencies have continued to attract the interest of institutions, with top financial organizations releasing complementary reports on the prospects of digital assets. 2021 was the year of institutional adoption, with several Wall Streets firms adding bitcoin to their balance sheets.
Fortune 500 companies like Tesla also got in the act by purchasing $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin, currently valued at $2 billion. Bakkt also recently inked a deal with an American bank to offer crypto services. However, despite these well-publicized moves, there’s still an element of caution from institutions due to the volatile nature of crypto-assets.