Yesterday, Circle, the issuer of the second largest stablecoin USDC announced the launch of its Venture Fund. It looks like the unit was set up earlier this year, based on the three team members listed on Linkedin, but yesterday was the first investment announcement. In 2019 it acquired the crowdfunding platform SeedInvest.
JPYC, the Japanese Yen Stablecoin Coin company, said it raised a 500 million yen ($4.4m) Series A round led by Headline Asia (formerly Infinity Ventures) with Circle and I-nest Capital as participants.
To cover the APAC region, Circle Ventures hired a former executive from Bitmain and IDG Capital, a company that previously invested in Circle.
Also yesterday, Circle said it plans to create a presence and invest in the Singapore market. The aim is to conduct stablecoin experiments under a “Lighthouse Project” with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
MAS has numerous blockchain initiatives, particularly in payments. Its Project Ubin central bank digital currency (CBDC) exploration resulted in the launch of interbank payment firm Partior, a joint venture between DBS Bank, JP Morgan and Temasek. It initiated Project Dunbar a cross-border wholesale CBDC project. And yesterday, it announced a retail CBDC initiative. It is also the host of the Global CBDC Challenge, which attracted the cream of CBDC projects from around the world.
In terms of regulated payments, a stablecoin project completes the spectrum in Singapore.
Meanwhile, Circle is preparing to go public via a SPAC.