Abu Dhabi's MidChains closes investment round with Mubadala backing

Mubadala Capital, Miami International Holdings and the Abu Dhabi Investment Office are investors in the virtual asset trading exchange

MidChains co-founders Basil Al Askari (left) and Mohamed Al Hashemi have secured backing from Mubadala Capital. Courtesy MidChains. 
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MidChains, an Abu Dhabi virtual asset trading exchange, said it closed its latest funding round with backing from investors such as Mubadala Investment Company’s asset management arm.

Mubadala Capital, Miami International Holdings, the Abu Dhabi Investment Office and other regional backers were among the investors in the fund-raising deal, MidChains said on Monday. The sum invested was not disclosed.

“As we aim to launch the MidChains platform later this year, the backing of established institutions will enable us take the next steps in our development while supporting our long-term growth strategy ... in regards to the development of financial markets,” Basil Al Askari, co-founder and chief executive of MidChains, said.

“Our group of world-class shareholders bring a wealth of international experience that will allow us to build a global business out of Abu Dhabi.”

The company is the only Emirati founded virtual asset exchange in the UAE capital. Last year, MidChains gained the approval of the regulatory arm of the Abu Dhabi Global Market to operate a crypto asset exchange in Abu Dhabi. The venture capital arm of Mubadala Investment Company took a stake in MidChains in 2019.

“There has been significant interest in MidChains since we made our initial investment in 2019,” Ibrahim Ajami, head of ventures at Mubadala, said.

“We are therefore pleased to increase our commitment ahead of the launch of MidChains’ virtual asset trading platform ... we look forward to supporting MidChains build global operations from its headquarters in Abu Dhabi.”

MidChains intends to become a multi-asset class blockchain-enabled investment exchange and custodian. This includes digital securities, stable coins, and derivatives.

“We are excited by the prospect of MidChains becoming one of the first regulated exchanges for virtual asset trading and investing, as it aligns with our ambitions to scale our business globally in areas including digital assets,” Thomas P. Gallagher, chairman and chief executive of MIH, said.

“We look forward to being long-term, value-added partners and together pursuing technology licensing and product listing opportunities throughout the world.”

Adio has invested through its Ventures Fund, an initiative of the Ghadan 21 accelerator programme created to support innovation-focused start-ups in Abu Dhabi.

"We have invested in MidChains as part of our commitment to ensure that promising startups are given the help they need to take off and grow in Abu Dhabi, providing them with capital and support to develop cutting-edge solutions of global and regional significance," Tariq Bin Hendi, director general of Adio, said.

Mubadala Capital was established in 2011 with over $232 billion (Dh852bn) of assets.