Citi Ventures has invested in digital asset startup xalts alongside Accel India and others. Hong Kong headquartered xalts was co-founded this year by former HSBC trader Ashutosh Goel and ex Meta Asia executive Supreet Kaur.
“The next leg of growth in digital assets will be driven by institutional participation in the asset class,” said Goel, xalts Chief Investment Officer. “We are starting to see the early signs of that with a lot of new initiatives coming from banks and asset managers.”
The startup aims to release ETFs and mutual funds for cryptocurrencies. It also has platforms for tokenizing structured products and tokenized funds.
“Apart from investors, we are also seeing a lot of interest from fund managers and issuers to use our platform to launch structured and fund products for their clients. We expect to build a team of 30 by the end of this year across our offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai and Geneva,” said xalts COO Kaur.
Kaur noted that many institutions are not able to access the crypto ecosystem directly, hence its goal of launching accessible products. When it comes to ETFs, there’s plenty of competition. However, many of the players are targeting Europe and the United States. Existing offerings are from newcomers such as Galaxy Digital, NYDIG, 21Shares and Coinshares as well as incumbents including BlackRock, Schwab, Fidelity and Invesco.
Meanwhile, Citi has ramped up its activities relating to digital assets across the board. Some of that is focused on more conventional assets, but it is also active in the crypto sector. It has invested in infrastructure (BlockDaemon and Talos), blockchain intelligence (TRM Labs) and data (Amberdata).
“xalts is our first investment in a digital asset manager, and we support its vision of creating innovative products to meet the growing appetite of institutional investors for more efficient and robust crypto-access investments,” said Luis Valdich, Managing Director, Citi Ventures.