Today Singapore’s ADDX announced plans to expand into the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The regulated tokenization platform and private exchange has raised US$140 million in venture capital, primarily from numerous major Asian financial institutions. These include the Singapore Exchange (SGX) and the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET).
Its expansion into MENA aims to help pre-IPO companies leverage blockchain to raise funds.
“It offers the ability to strengthen the economic connection and flow of investment capital between key APAC and Middle Eastern markets while fostering the growth and expansion of strategically important MSMEs across the region,” said Danny Toe, founder and Group CEO of ADDX.
ADDX has been one of the most prolific tokenization platforms, listing more than 80 deals so far. These have not just been for pre-IPO companies. For example, it facilitated a $100 million bond issuance for SingTel, and several asset managers issued funds using the platform. The type of listed assets ranges from private equity and venture capital to funds, real estate and structured products.
The platform enables the so-called fractionalization of assets. While the denominations can be significantly smaller than conventional markets, investments are only available to accredited investors.
In 2021, before its last funding round, ADDX had $150 million in annual transactions. We’ve asked for updated statistics but didn’t get a response in time for publication.
At a global level, the closest competitor is probably Securitize. It raised far less venture backing – $75 million – which it has used to make multiple acquisitions. These include a company with a secondary market license and an incumbent transfer agent. Last month it acquired OnRamp, which provides services to investment advisers.
With 200 issuing partners, Securitize is also expanding, but so far the geographic overlap between ADDX and Securitize is not significant. Securitize’s headquarters are in the United States with a Japanese subsidiary, and ADDX has Japanese investors. Now Securitize is expanding into Europe and has existing offices in Israel and Argentina. Both startups work with Hamilton Lane.