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Zodia Custody raises $36M Series A

Apr 27, 2023
Illustration of a digital coin rising from the horizon with beams of light around it

Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

Zodia Custody, a London-based crypto custodian backed by Standard Chartered, has raised $36 million in a Series A led by Japan’s SBI Holdings.

Why it matters: Global crypto firms continue to attract funding despite the recent collapse of some peers.

Between the lines: In February, Zodia launched its crypto custody services in Japan as part of a joint venture with SBI Digital Asset Holdings.

  • The new financing will be earmarked for international expansion beyond Zodia's existing operations in Europe and Asia.

Yes, but: In an interview with Bloomberg, Zodia Custody CEO Julian Sawyer said the firm had no interest in entering the U.S. market due to “uncertainty in its regulatory roadmap.”

What they're saying: “As an industry, there’s a challenge in terms of which regulatory body is managing crypto and what assets are classed as securities,” Sawyer said.

  • “We hope the U.S. creates that clarity, but at the moment, it’s fair to say that it’s difficult to see what that will be in the next 12 to 18 months.”

Flashback: Zodia Custody was founded in 2020 as a joint venture between Standard Chartered innovation arm SC Ventures and Northern Trust.

  • At that time, the London-based commercial bank owned about 90% of the crypto custodian.

Of note: SC Ventures also participated in the financing and remains the startup's majority owner.

  • With its investment, SBI is now the firm’s second-largest shareholder.
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