Today Hong Kong web3 startup Animoca Brands announced a memorandum of understanding with Mitsui & Co as a strategic partner and investor. Animoca is known for its prolific investments in more than 450 companies as well as starting several educational, metaverse and gaming initiatives including The Sandbox.
The amount of the investment was not disclosed and appears to be an investment in the holding company although Mitsui & Co said the collaboration will mainly target Japan. Last year Japan’s largest bank MUFG invested $22.5 million in Animoca’s Japanese subsidiary.
One might expect the Animoca/Mitsui partnership to focus on gaming and education. However, in addition to businesses that accelerate the adoption of web3, they mention developing collaborative businesses across a variety of fields including “wellness and decarbonization/carbon credits.”
The Japanese conglomerate is already heavily invested in decarbonization and blockchain tokenization initiatives. For example, Mitsui Chemicals has a collaboration with IBM and Nomura Research for a plastic recycling consortium.
Mitsui & Co has a track record of partnering with startups in this sector. Mitsui & Co Commodities tokenized gold through an alliance with ZipangCoins (ZPG). And it has a crypto exchange joint venture with Seven Bank.
Its most recent big splash is on the asset management front. Mitsui & Co Digital Assets launched Alterna, a retail-focused platform that sells tokenized and fractionalized real estate directly to the public. Startup LayerX has a 36% stake in the digital assets subsidiary.