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Sony invests in tokenization firm Securitize

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Yesterday, blockchain firm Securitize announced an investment from SFV GB, the corporate venture capital fund managed by Sony Financial Ventures (SFV) and Global Brain. The California-based securities tokenization firm did not disclose the funding amount. 

Securitize said the capital from SFV is an extension to its recent funding, where it raised $14 million. The round was led by Santander InnoVentures, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) Innovation Partners, and Nomura Holdings. Previously, Securitize raised $12.75 million from Ripple, Blockchain Capital, and Coinbase. Additionally, in November Japan’s SBI Holdings invested an undisclosed amount in the firm. 

The startup has developed a compliance platform for tokenized securities. The blockchain solution, DS Protocol, manages the trading of digital securities in the regulated market and boasts of the highest adoption rate in the financial services industry. 

“The investment validates Securitize as one of the most important architects of digital capital markets while adding another marquee name to a growing list of companies who are investing in digital securities as the future of global capital markets,” said Carlos Domingo, Co-Founder and CEO of Securitize.

SFV is a unit of Japan-based Sony Financial Group, which has revenues of $13 billion, mostly from life insurance. The SFV GB fund has a size of Yen 5 billion ($46 million) and is managed by Global Brain, which also operates a fund for KDDI, another Securitize investor.

Blockchain for securities and tokenization is experiencing a lot of activity from Japanese firms. Last year, MUFG initiated the ST Research Consortium with 22 other firms to explore blockchain and security tokens for automatic securities settlement. Securitize is a technical cooperation member of the consortium. 

“Securitize is expertly leveraging blockchain technology to create a new asset class with astonishing abilities,” said Junji Nakamura, Director and Board Member of SFV.

Meanwhile, Monex, SBI Securities, kabu.com Securities, Daiwa Securities, Nomura Securities, and Rakuten Securities have launched the Japan Security Token Offering (STO) Association. The goal is to develop self-regulation around STOs and shape the digital fundraising eco-system in the country. 

Numerous Securitize shareholders are Japanese, and the company is well poised to offer its services in the country. To this end, Securitize acquired Japanese blockchain consultancy BUIDL, which has several security token projects.

Last year, SFV led a €13 million ($14.4 million) investment round for Berlin-based blockchain startup Bitwala. The German firm offers a platform combining a cryptocurrency wallet and trading system with a conventional bank account.