Citi Ventures makes first crypto seed investment in startup Xalts

(Bloomberg) – Citigroup Inc.’s venture capital investment group has made its first digital asset seed investment in a Hong Kong-based digital asset management company.

Citi Ventures co-led a $6 million first round of capital funding for xalts, which was co-founded by a former HSBC Holdings trader and a former Meta Platforms Inc executive. Accel, the venture capital firm based in Palo Alto, Calif., which has funded tech companies such as Facebook and Spotify, was the other firm that co-led the funding round. Citi Ventures did not disclose the amount invested. Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal and other hedge fund managers were also investors.

Xalts is looking to capitalize on what it said is increased institutional participation in the digital asset ecosystem, even after cryptocurrency prices plummeted this year. The company aims to launch several fund products related to digital assets, including mutual funds and ETFs listed on global exchanges.

“The world has changed a lot, you know with the macro environments and obviously the markets have suffered,” said Luis Valdich, managing director of Citi Ventures, in an interview. “Obviously we’re very careful about where and how to deploy capital, but we’re absolutely active with a lot of opportunities not only outside of digital assets, but also in the digital asset space, which we believe is here to stay. ”

Ashutosh Goel, co-founder and chief investment officer of xalts, said in an interview that his business is expanding to multiple locations including Dubai, Singapore and New Delhi. Supreet Kaur, a former Meta Asia executive, is the other co-founder.

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