Diginex says it has raised US$20 million ($27.3 million) from a group of private investors ahead of a planned listing on the Nasdaq Stock Market later this month.

The Hong Kong-based parent of the institutional cryptocurrency exchange Equos completed a private placement of convertible notes with investors including family offices in London and Hong Kong and a hedge fund, said Richard Byworth, the company’s chief executive officer.

The private placement was necessary to serve as a reference point for investors assessing Diginex’s upcoming takeover by 8i Enterprises Acquisition Corp, Byworth said in an interview in Hong Kong. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.


“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,” he said.

The funds raised by Diginex will be used for capital expenditures, Byworth added, with the company planning to shrink its Hong Kong office of 80 people, currently two-thirds of its global staff, and relocate them along with its exchange business to Singapore.

Digital assets have outperformed this year as massive stimulus efforts prompt investors to seek alternative assets to the US dollar and other currencies, though they remain volatile. The Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index, which tracks a basket of six digital assets, is up 67% so far in 2020.

For their part, monetary authorities like the People’s Bank of China have begun trials of their own cryptocurrencies, and even the Federal Reserve has been doing experiments in the space.

Diginex’s private fundraising announcement comes a week before a shareholder vote on September 15 on its takeover by 8i Enterprises, a special purpose acquisition company.

Diginex seeks to list on September 23 if it receives approval from 8i shareholders and the Nasdaq. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has already approved the listing.