Asian crypto gaming and web3 investment company Animoca Brands is entering Japan as its local division raises $45 million in funding at a pre-money valuation of $500 million.
The investment, which was paid equally by parent company Animoca Brands and MUFG Bank, Japan’s largest bank with a 360-year history, comes as the country tightens regulations around the crypto industry.
Japan is not the most cryptocurrency-friendly country. It currently imposes a 30% corporate tax on profits from cryptocurrency holdings, including unrealized gains, a policy that has sparked blockchain brain drain and requests by domestic crypto startups for lower tax rates.
But with its wealth of successful anime, manga, video games, movies and musicians, Japan is still a good place for NFT services looking for IP addresses.
Indeed, Animoca Brands Japan, whose parent backed the world’s largest NFT platform OpenSea, plans to use the fresh capital to “secure licenses for popular intellectual properties, develop internal capabilities and promote Web3 adoption by multiple partners, increasing value and utility of their branded content while promoting the development of a safe and secure NFT ecosystem in Japan.”
MUFG, which was created from a merger between Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi and UFJ Bank, is not the only financial group in Japan to adopt NFTs. This was stated by the banking giant Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp in July that it plans to establish a “Token Business Lab” that will provide consulting to institutional clients interested in NFT applications, with technical support coming from blockchain startup HashPort.
Japan’s domestic tech companies are also warming to NFTs. In AprilLine is launching its NFT marketplace in Japan, a plan that has been announced last year. This is an expected development considering that the Japanese messaging giant has already earned millions of dollars from sticker sales and has promoted a handful of sticker collections. 90 million Line users in Japan can now store their NFTs in their Line-powered digital asset wallet and trade NFTs with friends.