Telecommunication giant SoftBank Group has been showing increasing interest in crypto-asset companies.
The group announced a chain of investments in blockchain and crypto-assets companies. The move seemingly came from a sharp increase in the number of services in cryptocurrency and blockchain offered by large corporations since last year.
In 2020, Masayoshi Son, CEO of SoftBank, disclosed that he had invested 1% of his assets in Bitcoin. The amount roughly translates to 20 billion Yen (US$181 million).
SoftBank’s list of investments in the crypto market
- Atlas Protocol – In August 2018, Softbank China Venture Capital (SBCVC) initiated a $3 million equity seed round in Atlas Protocol, a public blockchain-based data-based venture
- Bitso – Bitso is a cryptocurrency exchange in Mexico. The exchange raised around $250 million in May 2021 from backers such as SoftBank and others.
- Hashde – SoftBank invested $26 million in a Brazilian asset management fund, Hashe which specializes in cryptocurrencies.
- O3 Swap and Epik Prime – In May 2021, SoftBank’s Singapore branch invested in Epik Prime, a digital marketing platform and O3 Swap, a DeFi protocol. The amounts weren’t disclosed.
- Mercado Bitcoin – Mercado is the largest crypto exchange. The SoftBank Latin America Fund invested $200 million in the company’s Series B funding round in July 2021.
- Bullish – In July 2021, SoftBank Group’s investment division “SB Northstar” announced that they are buying $75 million worth of shares from Bullish. Bullish is a cryptocurrency-related company under Block.one.
- Sorare – Sorare is a blockchain-based fantasy football game. The company raised over $532 million in the funding round led by SoftBank.
- Revolut – In July 2021, Revolut, a British digital bank revealed that companies including SoftBank Vision Fund 2 have invested $800 million into the institution.
- FTX – FTX Trading Ltd. recently announced that it has raised $900 million from a total of 60 investors which included SoftBank group and Coinbase.
Apart from investing in crypto-asset companies, SoftBank has made efforts in joining the race as well. In February 2019, US-based TBCASoft announced that SoftBank and telecommunications company Far EasTone were successful in experimenting with mobile payment on the company’s blockchain platform.
Softbank also joined the Japan Security Token Association (JSTA) as a supporting member of the organization. The organization was established to ensure the quality of security tokens.