Despite a blanket ban in China and regulatory crackdowns on exchanges in Korea, Asia remains a hotbed for crypto investments.
Digital asset manager Cobo has raised $40 million to advance institutional pathways to decentralized finance products, offering compelling evidence that more Asia-Pacific investors are seeking secure access to the DeFi market.
The Series B financing will be used by Cobo to develop the first DeFi-as-a-service, or DaaS, infrastructure, which allows institutions and their customers to access decentralized finance products in a compliant manner, the company announced Wednesday. Specifically, the capital will be deployed to acquire regulatory licenses and ensure that anti-money laundering guidelines are followed on all products.
Cobo further explained that DaaS gives institutions more secure exposure to DeFi smart contracts without the need to understand market complexities.
The investment round, which was led by DST Global, A&T Capital and IMO Ventures, builds off a successful Series A fundraiser that generated $13 million for Cobo in October 2018. The Singapore-based company was founded in 2017 as a comprehensive blockchain infrastructure provider.
Discus Fish, Cobo’s founder and CEO, said the new DaaS infrastructure is being developed at a time of growing demand for crypto assets across Asia. Despite a blanket ban on crypto trading and mining in China, Asia is home to several vibrant crypto markets, including Japan, Korea and, more recently, Vietnam. In more advanced Asian markets, cryptocurrencies are seen as an investable asset class, but in emerging nations like Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines, remittance payments are a major driving force of adoption.
Related: Is the cryptocurrency epicenter moving away from East Asia?
Cobo largely serves institutional investors in the Asia-Pacific region. Currently, its customers include over 300 institutional investors, once again highlighting the smart-money demand for crypto assets in the region.
Crypto and traditional assets have seen extreme volatility in recent days over trepidation that Chinese property developer Evergrande was on the verge of default. On Wednesday, it was reported that the indebted developer had “resolved” a scheduled payment issue, easing some of the selling pressure from risk assets such as stocks and cryptocurrencies.