Japanese firms Nomura and SBI plan to work together to invest venture capital funds in crypto tokens for startups, the Nikkei reported.
A quote best summed up the rationale. “If we can’t afford to invest in tokens, we won’t be able to invest in Web3 companies that primarily raise funds with tokens,” said Takeshi Goto, executive vice president of SBI Investment, a venture capital subsidiary that also plans to set up a fund to invest in tokens this year.
In other countries, it is now common for venture capitalists to invest in seed cryptocurrency tokens, either in addition to equity or instead of it. A16z crypto, part of Andreessen Horowitz, is the highest profile and recently raised a fourth crypto fund of $4.5 billion. His previous crypto funds totaled $3.1 billion.
While conventional venture capital investing uses similar skills to token investing, they are not quite the same, given that tokens do not represent equity. So it’s a learning curve for investors.
SBI has established relationships with other major digital asset venture capitalists in Asia. For example, it has an agreement with SC Ventures of Standard Chartered to create ecosystems for startups. And Siam Commercial Bank’s SCB 10X has invested in SBI Digital Markets, which will target the issuance of Southeast Asian security tokens from Singapore.
Separately, in May, Nomura confirmed plans for a digital asset subsidiary to target institutional clients. SBI and Nomura have other blockchain collaborations. Nomura is a minority investor in SBI’s Osaka Digital Exchange, which plans to launch a secondary market for security tokens next year. And SBI is a minority investor in BOOSTRY, a Nomura security token issuing company that has its “iBet for Fin” platform (nothing to do with betting).
SBI already has significant interests in cryptocurrencies. SBI VC Trade is its cryptocurrency exchange. He also has a substantial interest in Bitcoin mining. In 2020, SBI acquired leading institutional market maker B2C2 and in May announced plans to take a majority stake in another local exchange, BITPoint. It previously acquired TaoTao from Yahoo Japan.