Abu Dhabi crypto asset trading platform MidChains bags investment from Mubadala Ventures

MidChains, an Abu Dhabi-based crypto asset trading platform which has recently gained the approval of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) to operate a crypto asset exchange in the capital, raised an investment from the venture capital arm of Mubadala Investment Company, Mubadala Ventures.

The investment shows that Mubadala Ventures understands the importance of cryptocurrency and the role it will play in the world economy few years from now.

"Given Mubadala's reputation as a global investment company, this investment will provide us with a platform to scale up, including for retail and institutional clients," said Basil Al-Askari, co-founder and chief executive of MidChains.

MidChains has been offering digital asset exchange and custodian services for two years now. Last month, the company gained in-principal approval from ADGM's Financial Services Regulatory Authority to set up and run a global crypto-asset exchange and custodian service.

After this investment, MidChains has become one of the first few digital asset firms in the Middle East to receive funding from Mubadala. Although, the sum of the investment has not been disclosed as of yet.

"We're excited to be an early-stage investor in a company like MidChains which is both an Abu Dhabi-based company and one founded by two inspiring [UAE] nationals," said Ibrahim Ajami, head of Mubadala Ventures. "This is in-line with our investment strategy to find and nurture home-grown start-ups," he said.

Based in the new Hub71 accelerator in Abu Dhabi Global Markets, MidChains plans to launch its platform by the end of 2019. However, all of their plans are subject to regulatory approval by Abu Dhabi and UAE regulatory authorities.

If all goes well, MidChains will be targeting both retail and institutional investors in digital assets. It is one of a number of crypto-asset exchanges to have received in-principal approval from ADGM's regulatory body in recent months.

Mubadala Ventures, set up in 2017, plans to grow its portfolio to $1 billion (Dh3.67bn) by 2021. It also oversees its parent company's $15bn investment in Japan's $100bn SoftBank Vision Fund, which puts Mubadala in the company of Apple, Qualcomm, and Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund as investors.