SBI Financial Services, a subsidiary of Japanese financial giant SBI Holdings, has bought a $30 million minority stake in British crypto liquidity startup, B2C2.
The investment marks the beginning of a strategic partnership between the firms as B2C2 is set to become SBI’s main liquidity provider. As announced on July 1, the collaboration is aimed to expand SBI’s crypto offering to millions of customers. B2C2 is intended to benefit from SBI’s distribution network as the London-based startup launches an electronic prime brokerage.
A spokesperson at B2C2 told Cointelegraph that the investment is “one of the largest in the digital asset industry this year,” declining to disclose more details about the deal.
The representative continued:
“Ultimately, bringing together B2C2’s sophisticated asset liability management framework, valuable client base and deep expertise in trading and prime brokerage with SBI’s balance sheet strength will be a game changer, uniquely positioning us to tap the $20bn-a-year prime brokerage market.”
SBI to launch Japan’s first digital asset fund focused on XRP
The news comes shortly after SBI revealed plans to launch a crypto investment fund. SBI CEO, Yoshitaka Kitao, announced the plans in a June 26 investor presentation, claiming that the fund will become Japan's first digital asset fund.
As reported, SBI’s new crypto fund will mostly operate XRP, which is planned to account for 50% of the fund’s portfolio. Other digital assets include Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH), comprising 30% and 20%, respectively, based on a chart from SBI’s presentation.
B2C2 claims to be the “largest market maker in XRP”
The latest minority stake acquisition is the first time SBI invested in B2C2, a spokesperson at the company told Cointelegraph. B2C2 is primarily self-funded with the majority owned by B2C2’s founders, the representative said. Co-founded in 2015 by Max Boonen, a former Goldman Sachs trader, B2C2 is a major over-the-counter, or OTC, trading platform. In an email to Cointelegraph, a B2C2 spokesperson claimed to be the “largest market maker in XRP.”
SBI has been actively involved in a number of crypto projects, paying special attention to XRP. As reported, Ripple has been a major crypto partner of SBI Holdings, providing solutions for their joint venture SBI Ripple Asia, which was formed to promote XRP usage in Asian financial markets in 2016. On June 18, Adam Traidman, CEO of SBI Ripple Asia, said that Ripple has started to roll out its On-Demand Liquidity in Asia.