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Rothschild-backed RIT co-leads funding for crypto platform Aspen Digital

08/04/2021 | 05:56am EDT
Representations of cryptocurrencies Bitcoin, Ethereum, DogeCoin, Ripple, Litecoin are placed on PC motherboard in this illustration taken

LONDON (Reuters) - RIT Capital Partners, the investment trust founded by Jacob Rothschild, is co-leading a funding round for crypto investment platform Aspen Digital intended to finance the creation of an online platform that would give wealthy investors a single portal to manage crypto investments.

RIT will lead the $8.8 million fundraising round for Hong Kong-based Aspen Digital, along with Liberty City Ventures, an early venture investor in the blockchain industry, Aspen said in a statement on Wednesday.

This will fund the launch of the platform and its expansion to London, Yang He, co-founder and chief executive of Aspen Digital, told Reuters.

Other investors include Chatchaval Jiaravanon and Chaval Jiaravanon - members of Thailand's richest family and owners of Fortune magazine.

Aspen will target family offices and asset managers in Europe, Asia and the Middle East who want to have a single portal from which they can build a diversified crypto portfolio. It expects to go live later this year.

"To have the oldest wealth management family in the world putting trust in us as a platform solution for the new world of crypto investment is a great validation," said Yang.

Investor enthusiasm for crypto has increased sharply over the past year, with one study showing seven out of 10 institutional investors expect to invest in or buy digital assets in the future.

London-listed RIT has invested in other crypto-related companies recently, such as U.S. crypto exchange Kraken. Jacob Rothschild remains the largest RIT shareholder with a 12.39% stake.

Aspen Digital aims to provide family offices and other wealth managers with a crypto investment portal which will take care of compliance procedures and bear the counterparty risk.

Aspen will focus on three areas: it will allow investors to buy and hold cryptocurrency, will invest in yield-generating products such as stablecoin-backed savings accounts, and will offer automated strategies comparable to quant strategies employed by many hedge funds.

It will also have a research arm aggregating news in the sector and market insights, and would present this to clients so they can see what it could mean for their portfolios.

Emil Woods, founding partner of Liberty City Ventures, said: "We are thrilled to partner with one of the finest technical and business-savvy teams in blockchain and crypto."

RIT declined comment.

($1 = 0.7178 pounds)

(Reporting by Abhinav Ramnarayan)

By Abhinav Ramnarayan

ę Reuters 2021
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