SC Ventures plans Abu Dhabi office
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Standard Chartered’s SC Ventures Embraces Abu Dhabi’s Fintech Momentum with New Office

SC Ventures, the innovation and fintech investment arm of Standard Chartered, plans to open an office in Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) in response to the booming tech ecosystem in the UAE.

This strategic move is aimed at actively harnessing opportunities in fintech, digital assets, data, and local talent, all within the growing technology and business innovation ecosystem of the region. It also follows SC Ventures’ partnership with SBI Holdings, a Japanese financial conglomerate, to set up a digital asset joint venture investment company in the UAE.

Gautam Jain SC Ventures
Gautam Jain

Gautam Jain, a banking technology veteran with over three decades of experience, including at at Barclays, HSBC and Citigroup, will lead SC Ventures’ new office. He commented: “UAE’s global tech ecosystem experienced a 134 per cent growth in ecosystem value — the sixth fastest globally and the biggest in the Middle East and North African region.

“SC Ventures sees strong opportunities in the regions’ potential to help rewire the DNA in banking through its top-notch talent and capabilities in venture building and investment mandate — specifically in the areas of fintech, digital assets and data.”

According to Jain, in Q3 2023, ADGM’s assets under management increased 52 per cent from Q3 2022.

“This remarkable growth has solidified ADGM’s reputation as a trusted financial hub. SC Ventures looks forward to tapping into this community of innovation as we continue to rewire the DNA in banking to best serve clients and meet society’s needs.”

ADGM welcome

Arvind Ramamurthy, chief of market development at ADGM, said it welcomed SC Ventures’ strategic decision and that it “looked forward to witnessing its positive contributions to the financial ecosystem as well as working with broader eco-system including Hub 71, the venture capital community in ADGM and beyond, as it continues to thrive and expand its business operations and services offerings.”

SC Ventures describes ADGM as “a hotbed of innovation as the UAE is methodically building the ecosystem, aiming to develop more than 8,000 SMEs and startups by 2030 and with the goal of creating 20 startups valued at more than $1billion by 2031 as part of its Entrepreneurial Nation initiative.”

Following the new office launch, Jain plans to engage with the fintech and startup ecosystem in Abu Dhabi and the broader region. Furthermore, he will identify venture-building capabilities and establish partnerships within the UAE’s venture capital community. He will also actively invest in promising growth opportunities, foster collaborations with local universities, and explore emerging technologies and evolving business trends.


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