Blockchain Services Startup Diginex Bags US$20M Ahead Of Backdoor U.S. Listing

Diginex-owned EQUOS.io is set to become the first publicly-traded cryptocurrency exchange in the U.S. this month

Diginex, a Hong Kong-based parent company of newly-launched cryptocurrency exchange EQUOS.io, has raised US$20 million ahead of its planned back-door Nasdaq listing at the end of this month, the startup announced in a statement on Tuesday.

The current round of financing was led by several institutional investors and family offices across Asia and Europe, the statement noted.

Founded in 2017, Diginex offers a comprehensive list of financial services for digital assets, including EQUOS.io, digital asset trading platform Diginex Access, securitization advisory firm Diginex Capital, digital asset custody provider Digivault, and the investment management business Bletchley Park Asset Management.

EQUOS.io is set to become the first publicly traded digital assets exchange in the U.S. following Diginex’s plans to combine business operations with Nasdaq-listed 8i Enterprises Acquisition Corp, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

Launched at the end of July, digital asset exchange EQUOS.io offers cryptocurrency spot trading, with other products such as perpetual swaps, dated futures, options and other derivatives products to be launched soon.

As part of the merger deal that received approval from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), 8i Enterprises was earlier set to issue 20 million shares priced at $10 to Diginex shareholders, with the total deal being valued at $276 million.

However, according to a statement released by 8i Enterprises in May, the number of shares to be issued was increased to 25 million.

8i Enterprises has also agreed to raise additional capital of $15 million through private placement before the merging of operations with Diginex, and will ensure that at least $15 million is held in 8i Enterprises’ trust account after taking shareholder redemptions into account, the statement noted.

8i Enterprises is also holding a shareholder vote to approve the transaction on September 15, according to the latest press release.

Upon completion of the merger deal, U.S. citizens will be able to purchase shares in EQUOS.io although the exchange itself will operate out of Singapore, according to a Coindesk report.

With Diginex set to become the first company to list in the U.S. with a cryptocurrency exchange, CEO Richard Byworth noted that, “This fundraise was an important initiative to ensure we are well capitalized to invest in our core businesses as we embark on our journey to become one of the world’s leading digital asset firms.”

“This fundraise was an important initiative to ensure we are well capitalized to invest in our core businesses as we embark on our journey to become one of the world’s leading digital asset firms, and the first company to list in the U.S. with a crypto exchange,” CEO at Diginex, Richard Byworth noted in the statement.

“Importantly, it will help us meet certain listing requirements, paving the way for a successful business combination with 8i on Nasdaq in late September,” he added.

Noting that the latest fundraise was a testament of investor interest in Diginex, James Tan, CEO of 8i Enterprises said, “We believe that Diginex’s leading position in this rapidly growing and evolving asset class will offer a wide spectrum of investors an opportunity to invest in digital assets through the traditional markets.”

Header image by WorldSpectrum from Pixabay

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