Middle East's largest alternative asset manager starts raising blockchain fund

The Middle East's largest alternative asset manager is raising a new fund for investing in startups developing blockchain technology. 

According to a post on Investcorp Holdings' website today, the eLydian Lion fund will be based in Abu Dhabi and will have a global investment mandate. Investcorp is Bahrain-based. 

The fund will enable investors to gain early exposure to the rapid growth of the blockchain ecosystem, the post said. It will mainly back early-stage companies operating in areas such as blockchain infrastructure, platforms and exchanges, decentralized finance and data analytics.

Investcorp moved to delist from the Bahrain stock exchange last year, after nearly 40 years as a publicly traded entity. At the time, it said the move would give it the agility to expand faster.

The Block asked Investcorp for details on the planned closing date and target amount for the fund but had not heard back by the time of publication. 

The new fundraise follows a flurry of activity in the Middle East as it seeks to solidify its place as a crypto-friendly region. In March, Dubai unveiled a new agency tasked with virtual asset regulation — a framework which crypto exchange giant Binance helped it to establish.

Over the weekend, Binance received in-principle approval from Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) to operate as a broker-dealer in digital assets.