SC Ventures founded Zodia to manage digital assets for institutional clients while maintaining a robust compliance and control framework – a unique selling point. Find out how Zodia is pioneering institutional-grade digital custody solutions and how gender diversity plays in Zodia’s success story.

The need for a regulated digital custody solution

Zodia by SC Ventures unites deep and multi-market expertise as a trusted securities custodian of Standard Chartered and the agility of a fintech company. The approach provides secure and innovative custody services for digital assets. While it follows the same principles as traditional custody, the underlying technology is highly scalable, offers the option to quickly adapt to new market developments and evolving client needs. “Banking is changing and we empower banks to diversify business models”, explains Zodia CFO and Chief of Staff Preete Janda.

SC Ventures partnered with the financial services provider Northern Trust to launch Zodia in December 2020. “These institutions have a long history and legacy surrounding custody. Combined, SC Ventures and Northern Trust have more than 300 years of experience in banking”, explains Charlotte Parker, Communications and Brand Analyst at Zodia. “The digital assets market is an exciting space to be in and by leveraging SC Ventures and Northern Trust’s expertise, we can bring best market practices into the digital asset ecosystem”, Charlotte adds. The partnership combines the risk management, compliance, governance, and security approaches of a regulated financial institution with cutting-edge technological innovation. The aim of the collaboration is high operational efficiency and speed of transaction without compromising on security.

“The digital asset industry still lacks an established regulatory infrastructure and standards between trading venues, custodians, and participants”, states Anoosh Arevshatian, Chief Risk Officer at Zodia. The digital asset custodian co-founded a working group to shape regulations in the area of digital custody. “We strongly believe in setting industry-wide standards and this should be an industry-wide effort”, says Head of Product Jo Lee. Higher industry standards regarding financial crimes and cybersecurity are key to fully unlocking the institutional potential for the digital asset class. Through collaboration with industry participants and regulatory bodies, Zodia actively participates in the co-creation of market standards and regulations to support the growth of the entire ecosystem.

Diversity and inclusion allow Zodia to offer a revolutionary product

Zodia is one of the few fintech startups living gender diversity: almost half of the permanent staff are female and key positions are held by women. Studies show that diverse teams perform better than homogenous groups and more women in the workplace is associated with positive organizational outcomes for all employees. “Zodia is committed to being a force for good across all aspects of our business, the value of Zodia is our people and their diversity which is central to our success. By building a diverse and inclusive team Zodia has created a company culture centred around collaboration and unlocking potential”, Zodia CEO Maxime de Guillebon explains.

The team has witnessed how gender balance positively influences the company culture: “Zodia has a flexible and well-rounded approach to innovation, which deviates from the traditional finance space, fostering a culture of openness and support that makes everyone accessible. I have been pleasantly surprised by the approachable nature of my colleagues and everyone’s openness to being challenged”, says CFO and Chief of Staff Preete. Her colleagues share this opinion: “Since working for Zodia, I have noticed the difference that gender balance can make”, states Zodia Head of Product Jo. Anoosh who joined Zodia in 2021 highly appreciates the impact of diversity on her team. “Zodia has a fantastic company culture: everyone is highly motivated and able to be their true selves which means that we are eager to share different experiences from all over. This positions us to offer a product that has the potential to take digital custody to the next level”, she says.