SINGAPORE, January 26, 2021 – Leading global digital securities platform iSTOX have announced that two government-backed investors in Japan have concluded an agreement to invest in the company, as iSTOX closed its Series A funding round with a total of US$50 million raised. The two investors are: the venture capital arm of Japan Investment Corporation (JIC), or JIC Venture Growth Investments (JIC-VGI), and Development Bank of Japan Inc (DBJ), which is a financial institution wholly owned by the Japanese Government. Also joining iSTOX as new investors are Japan’s Juroku Bank and Mobile Internet Capital (MIC), a venture capital firm.
In this latest round of financing, existing investors Singapore Exchange (SGX), Japan’s Tokai Tokyo Financial Holdings and Korea’s Hanwha Asset Management also made fresh investments. Other existing investors of iSTOX include Temasek Holdings subsidiary Heliconia Capital Management and Thailand’s Kiatnakin Phatra Financial Group.
Founded in 2017, iSTOX is a financial technology company regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) as a multi-asset platform for the issuance, custody and secondary trading of digital securities. The mission of iSTOX is to democratise the private capital markets, putting previously out-of-reach investments in the hands of underserved investors. iSTOX graduated from the MAS Fintech Regulatory Sandbox in February 2020.
Oi Yee Choo, Chief Commercial Officer of iSTOX, said, “The support of government-backed investors JIC-VGI and DBJ as well as other new investors in this round signals a rising confidence in the iSTOX digital securities platform and our business model. Existing shareholders SGX, Tokai Tokyo and Hanwha have also added to their holdings, which shows that investors who have engaged with iSTOX for some time continue to have strong conviction in our mission and our potential.”
Hideki Yarimizu, Chief Executive Officer of JIC-VGI, said, “We have decided to participate in the launch of the next generation of digital financial services and platforms covering Asia. We believe that this project will also contribute to the development of Japanese financial services. We look forward to working with iSTOX’s management and shareholders.”
iSTOX allows multi-asset issuances of fractionalised private market securities, including equity, bonds and funds, making them accessible to a much larger pool of investors, not just institutions or private banking clients. Through the creation of security tokens using blockchain and smart contract technology, iSTOX automates manual processes that have hitherto made it impossible for traditional issuers to handle large numbers of smaller investors. This enables iSTOX to reduce minimum investment ticket sizes to US$20,000 or less, from the US$1 million minimum usually required for private market investments. The proprietary exchange iSTOX has built also allows the secondary buying and selling of securities among investors, enhancing the liquidity and value of those investments.