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Sony Networks invests $3.5m in blockchain startup Startale


Today Sony Network Communications announced it is investing $3.5 million in Japanese blockchain firm Startale Labs. The startups’s founder and CEO also founded the Astar Network, a multichain smart contract platform, which is one of the Polkadot blockchain’s parachains.

In February, Sony Networks announced a collaboration with Astar for a web3 incubation program. Astar also has relationships with NTT Docomo and Toyota, amongst others. 

The Sony subsidiary is involved in gaming, network services, music, movies and entertainment, which are all areas where blockchain is highly relevant.

“I believe that the Sony Group is one of the companies with the greatest potential for Web3 in the world,” said Sota Watanabe, CEO of Startale Labs. “In order to create Web3 killer use cases, we would like to develop a global infrastructure that supports the Web3 era in collaboration with Sony Network Communications Inc.”

Watanabe has likened Startale to ConsenSys, the web3 firm started by Joe Lubin, who is also an Ethereum co-founder. ConsenSys has been involved in enterprise collaborations with numerous brand names, especially in finance, such as JP Morgan, Visa and Mastercard. Separately it has been developing public blockchain infrastructure such as Infura and the MetaMask wallet. Hence it’s not surprising this is a model that Astar would like to mimic.

“We hope that this partnership will contribute to the creation of new killer use cases using Web3 technology and the provision of unseen value,” said Jun Watanabe, President of Sony Network Communications.

While Astar might be viewed as a Japanese public blockchain, there’s no mistaking its global ambitions. Japanese firms are ahead of the game in web3, particularly on the corporate side with tokenization. Several organization, such as MUFG and SBI, are eyeing global opportunities. The Japan Financial Services Agency (JFSA) is also keen to attract global web3 talent to Japan.

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