SoftBank Plans to Launch NFT Marketplace in 180 Countries to Expand Global Presence

Z Holdings, a Tokyo-based holdings company is tapping a part of a five-year $4.3 billion budget to drive growth.
Image source: SoftBank

Quick take:

  • The company will be one of the early adopters of NFTs in Japan.
  • This follows Rakuten Group’s recent launch of its NFT marketplace.
  • Animoca Brands also plans to enter the Japanese NFT market.

Z Holdings, the holdings company controlled by Japanese multinational conglomerate SoftBank, is tapping part of its five-year $4.3 billion budget to expand its global presence.

Part of the budget will be spent on launching an NFT marketplace accessible in 180 countries this spring while the remainder would go towards expanding the company’s electronic payment service provider, PayPay.

Prior to the announcement that it would be venturing into the NFT space on its own, SoftBank has been investing in Web3 companies such as Animoca, DNABlock, Soul Machines, Polygon, and more.

“It’s possible Web3 will herald a world where life is completely different and we don’t want the company to miss out on the huge growth opportunity,” said Kentaro Kawabe, co-chief executive officer of Z Holdings, in an interview, according to Bloomberg. “We won’t hesitate to do merger and acquisition deals to boost our presence.”

The company follows Japanese e-commerce company, Rakuten Group into the NFT space. Rakuten recently launched an NFT marketplace where users can issue and sell anime and music NFTs. 

Another big player in the Japanese NFT market is Animoca Brands. The company officially launched its Japanese arm in February. 

According to Nikkei Asia, Animoca will “help businesses and organizations mint NFTs based on their intellectual property holdings and sell them overseas” and “has about 50 projects in the works, involving 20 or so companies in areas including anime and fashion.”

SoftBank’s expansion into the NFT space is part of the company’s goal to compete with global tech heavyweights which are mainly from the US. 

Last year, SoftBank merged Line Corp, a Tokyo-based subsidiary of Z Holdings and popular messaging app, with Yahoo Japan to form an e-commerce and social media giant that can compete with global tech leaders.

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