- SBI Holdings wants to raise up to 100 billion yen for a new fund dedicated to Web3, AI and Fintech startups.
- The company has already received more than 50 billion yen in commitments from leading Japanese financial institutions.
- The fund plans to invest in 150-200 companies by the end of 2023.
SBI Holdings is launching a 100 billion yen fund (~$661.7 million) dedicated to Web3, AI and Fintech startups. The Japanese financial services institution has already received more than 50 billion yen (~$331 million) in commitments from Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Mizuho Bank, Nippon Life Insurance and Daiwa Securities Group.
According to the announcement, the new fund will invest in 150-200 companies with each project receiving hundreds of millions up to a billion yen.
As one of the biggest nations in Asia, Japan has been spearheading the adoption of Web3 in the region, with some of the biggest gaming companies Bandai NAMCO, Sega, and Square Enix among the early adopters of the technology.
The country also hosts some of the leading venture funds, including SoftBank Vision Fund, which has backed several Web3 companies.
However, despite these initiatives, Japan has failed to rank among the best in terms of nurturing startups, something that Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said he was keen to address in November 2022.
In July 2023, he reaffirmed the country’s commitment to supporting Web3 startups, adding that the technology can be adopted to drive innovation in multiple industries. “I hope that the Web3 industry will regain its attention and vitality and that various new projects will be born,” Kishida said during a web3 conference.
SBI’s mega fund seems to align with the PM’s ambitions and is backed by some of the largest financial institutions in the country, including Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, which in March 2023 had over 252 trillion yen in assets, according to Statista data.
Yet, even with 100 billion yen dedicated to startups in the country, SBI Holding’s new fund is only the tip of the iceberg of what Japan wants to pump into burgeoning startups. The government has set its sights on increasing investment in startups from 800 billion yen in 2022 to 10 trillion yen (~$66 billion) by 2027.
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