Animoca Brands snags strategic investment from Japan's Mitsui

Quick Take

  • Animoca Brands announced a strategic partnership with Mitsui & Co., one of Japan’s largest trading companies.
  • Mitsui & Co.’s history of startup collaborations and tokenization investments signals the increasing fusion of blockchain with traditional industries within Japan.

Hong Kong-based web3 startup Animoca Brands, known for its investments in the metaverse, gaming, and education sectors, announced a strategic partnership with Mitsui & Co. that will include an undisclosed investment from the Japanese conglomerate.

The deal comes at a time when the Japanese government is calling for the adoption of web3 as a national strategy.

"Mitsui and Animoca Brands aim to create new business that contributes to innovation and the uptake of web3 in the Japan market, by utilizing Mitsui’s extensive assets ranging from industrial businesses to consumer businesses, as well as its extensive partner and customer networks," Animoca Brands said in a statement.

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The two companies will work on projects that include the application of blockchain technology in wellness and decarbonization, according to the statement. 

The Japanese conglomerate has already invested in decarbonization and blockchain tokenization initiatives, such as a plastic recycling consortium in collaboration with Mitsui Chemicals, IBM, and Nomura Research. A subsidiary called Mitsui & Co Digital Assets also launched Alterna, a retail-focused platform selling tokenized and fractionalized real estate directly to consumers.

The collaboration will complement a previous investment of $22.5m in Animoca’s Japanese subsidiary by Japan's largest bank, MUFG.

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About Author

Brian McGleenon is a UK-based markets reporter for The Block. He has worked as a financial journalist and producer for multiple news outlets over the years, such as Fuji Television, The Independent, Yahoo Finance, The Evening Standard, and The Daily Express. Brian is