Singapore-based private asset trading platform iSTOX has closed its Series A round at $50 million with fresh investment from Japanese strategic investors.
These new investors are: JIC Venture Growth Investment, the venture capital arm of Japan Investment Corporation (JIC), the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ), Juroku Bank and Mobile Internet Capital (MIC), a Japanese venture capital firm.
iSTOX’s existing Series A investors include Singapore Exchange (SGX), Japan’s Tokai Tokyo Financial Holdings, Korea’s Hanwha Asset Management, Temasek subsidiary Heliconia Capital Management and Thailand’s Kiatnakin Phatra Financial Group.
Founded in 2017, iSTOX is a private exchange facilitating the issuance, custody and secondary trading of digital securities, including equity, bonds and funds. The firm has built its own blockchain-enabled technology stack that facilitates and “fractionalises” transactions into ticket sizes as little as $20,000 and lower, compared to the $1 million typically required for private market investments.
“With the new financing, iSTOX will expand our footprint both geographically and in terms of investment offerings. We will roll out private issuances by blue-chip issuers that individual investors on our platform can subscribe to in bite-size portions,” said iSTOX chief commercial officer Oi Yee Choo.
Oi added in the statement that iSTOX will continue to work on expanding its issuances and deal pipeline in China, Europe, Australia and other regions.
iSTOX joins a small but growing group of private exchanges and deal matching providers aiming to boost liquidity in private markets across Singapore and the Asia Pacific region.
Apart from iSTOX, there are three other MAS-regulated private exchanges in Singapore – 1exchange (under CapBridge Financial), Hg Exchange, which is backed by PhillipCapital, PrimePartners and Fundnel, and Estonia-founded, Funderbeam.
All three firms have the Capital Market Services (CMS) and the Recognised Market Operator (RMO) licences distributed by the MAS in Singapore.
In December 2020, DBS Bank also announced plans to set up a digital exchange, allowing institutional investors and accredited investors to tap on a fully integrated tokenisation, trading and custody ecosystem for digital assets.
Called the DBS Digital Exchange, the ecosystem aims to cover security token offerings in unlisted companies, bonds, private equity funds, exchange services, cryptocurrency trading, and other digital custody services.