WebN and Laser Digital launch Libre, a new institutional Web3 infrastructure, powered by Polygon

January 10, 2024 | 6 Min Read
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Tokenisation of funds on Libre will increase investor access to alternative investment opportunities. 

ABU DHABI, SINGAPORE, LONDON - WebN and Laser Digital announced today the launch of Libre, a new institutional Web3 infrastructure for the distribution of alternative asset funds powered by Polygon. Leading alternative investment management firm Brevan Howard and leading private markets investment management firm Hamilton Lane (Nasdaq: HLNE) plan to be the first issuers to strategically partner with Libre. 

Libre is an institutional Web3 protocol, designed for the legal and regulatory compliant issuance and automated lifecycle management of alternative investments. It unlocks broader distribution capabilities for asset managers and wealth advisors with the aim to safely and securely streamline legal, regulatory, and operational workflows. 

Using tokenisation and smart contracts, Libre enables efficient investment execution and lifecycle management, as well as scalable provisioning of value-add services such as collateralised lending and automated rebalancing of separately managed accounts (SMAs).  

Brevan Howard and Hamilton Lane agreeing to strategically partner with Libre marks a significant milestone for the alternative investments industry, which has seen growing interest in leveraging blockchain technology to improve access to alternatives. 

Libre is scheduled to go live during the first quarter of 2024 and has already partnered with several tier one global distributors. Access for distributors is simplified through API connectivity, which enables seamless integration into Libre’s comprehensive suite of wealth management services, data and infrastructure. 

Libre brings together the institutional heritage and alternative investment expertise from WebN Group, an incubation hub for fintech and Web3 innovation backed by Alan Howard, and Nomura’s digital assets arm, Laser Digital. Libre leverages the Polygon Chain Development Kit (CDK) as its blockchain backbone, which enables development of a purpose-built and ZK-powered layer-two blockchains. 

Libre’s CEO and founder, Dr. Avtar Sehra, pioneered early work in securities tokenisation and real world assets (RWAs) starting in 2014 - first on Bitcoin and then on Ethereum; and previously founded Nivaura, the first tokenisation and workflow automation platform with broker-dealer and custody licences from the FCA. 

Quotes 

Dr. Avtar Sehra, CEO / Founder of Libre: "It’s been an honour working with some of the most respected institutions in the traditional finance and web3 space on bringing the Libre vision to life. While our MVP objective is to increase AUM by launching the primary issuance service and driving distributor integrations, we are also working closely with our partners and clients on our 2024 product roadmap, which includes collateralised lending and automated portfolio rebalancing - building the future of wealth APIs." 

Himanshu Panwar, CEO at WebN Group: "WebN Group is proud to back and contribute our expertise in blockchain technology and capital markets to the development of Libre. By providing a secure and efficient platform for the issuance and management of alternative assets, Libre is poised to transform the traditional investment landscape.

Dr. Jez Mohideen, CEO at Laser Digital: "Laser Digital is dedicated to delivering secure and compliant digital asset products and infrastructure for institutional users. We firmly believe that Libre’s groundbreaking approach to tokenised funds holds the potential to greatly boost investor confidence and foster increased adoption of blockchain technology and tokenisation within the alternative investments industry and across broader capital markets.” 

Sandeep Nailwal, Founder at Polygon: "We are thrilled to see Libre select Polygon CDK’s scalability and security to revolutionise the alternative investments space. Libre demonstrates the immense potential of blockchain technology to unlock new opportunities for investors globally.

Victor Jung, Head of Digital Assets at Hamilton Lane: "At Hamilton Lane, we believe that tokenisation has the potential to revolutionise the way investments are managed and traded, and are focused on strategically partnering with other leading firms to improve compliance and streamline access to the private markets through initiatives like Libre. We are excited by the possibilities the launch of Libre will bring and are thrilled to be collaborating with these innovative partners to help transform the private markets landscape.” 

Natalie Smith, Head of Strategy and Client Partnerships Group at Brevan Howard: "We have been closely involved in Web3 and blockchain for years and are excited about the opportunity to apply the technology in the asset management space. The tokenisation of funds allows us to offer investors a new way to access our strategies, providing them with optionality, and further develops our platform to serve client needs. It is for this reason that we have been deeply involved in Libre."

About the Companies 

Libre Capital 

Libre is building the alternative investment infrastructure to enable asset managers to seamlessly connect with distributors and enable unparalleled access to global alternatives investment funds. In addition, Libre is working on enabling access to value-add services in the alternative assets ecosystem such as collateralised lending and automated rebalancing. 

Media Contact:  


WebN Group

WebN Group is an incubation hub for fintech and Web3 innovators, backed by Alan Howard and Laser Digital. Partnering with engineers, entrepreneurs and researchers who are building next-generation, institutional businesses, WebN serves as a bridge between blockchain technology and financial institutions. The WebN team consists of experts in capital markets, technology and infrastructure. 

Media Contact: info@wng.co


Laser Digital 

Laser Digital is a digital asset business offering services to institutional investors, including asset management, trading, and ventures. The company is backed by Nomura, a leading financial services group. Laser Digital's goal is to bring confidence to the digital asset market by providing its clients with access to innovative and reliable products and services. 

Media Contact:  


Polygon Labs 

Polygon Labs develops Ethereum scaling solutions for Polygon protocols. Polygon Labs engages with other ecosystem developers to help make available scalable, affordable, secure and sustainable blockchain infrastructure for Web3. Polygon Labs has initially developed a growing suite of protocols for developers to gain easy access to major scaling solutions, including Layer 2s (zero-knowledge rollups), sidechains, app-specific chains and data availability protocols. Scaling solutions that Polygon Labs initially developed have seen widespread adoption with tens of thousands of decentralised apps, unique addresses exceeding 389 million, 1.9 million smart contracts created and 3.2 billion total transactions processed since inception. The existing Polygon network is home for some of the biggest Web3 projects, such as Aave, Uniswap, and OpenSea, and well-known enterprises, including Robinhood, Stripe and Adobe. Polygon Labs is carbon neutral with the goal of leading Web3 in becoming carbon negative. 

Media Contact: Kurt Patat


Hamilton Lane 

Hamilton Lane (Nasdaq: HLNE) is one of the largest private markets investment firms globally, providing innovative solutions to institutional and private wealth investors around the world. Dedicated exclusively to private markets investing for more than 30 years, the firm currently employs nearly 700 professionals operating in offices throughout North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East. Hamilton Lane has $854.0 billion in assets under management and supervision, composed of $119.2 billion in discretionary assets and $734.8 billion in non-discretionary assets, as of September 30, 2023. Hamilton Lane specialises in building flexible investment programs that provide clients access to the full spectrum of private markets strategies, sectors and geographies.  

Media Contact: Kate McGann


Some of the statements in this release may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “will”, “expect”, “believe”, “estimate”, “continue”, “anticipate”, “intend”, “plan” and similar expressions are intended to identify these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements discuss management’s current expectations and projections relating to our financial position, results of operations, plans, objectives, future performance and business. All forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that may cause actual results to be materially different. You should evaluate all forward-looking statements in the context of the risks and uncertainties disclosed under the heading “Risk Factors” in Part I, Item 1A of Hamilton Lane’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2023 and subsequent reports filed from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements included in this release are made only as of the date hereof. Hamilton Lane undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information or future events, except as otherwise required by law. 

Brevan Howard 

Brevan Howard is a leading global alternative investment manager, offering institutional investors access to diversified strategies rooted in its edge – macro thinking, trade structuring and risk management. The firm manages over $35 billion in assets for institutional investors worldwide, including sovereign wealth funds, corporate and public pension plans, foundations, and endowments. Brevan Howard has approximately 1,100 team members, representing more than 40 nationalities, located in offices around the world, including Abu Dhabi, Austin, Geneva, London, Hong Kong, Jersey, New York, and Singapore. 

Media Coverage: Hilary Yaffe

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