SoftBank's tech division eyes NFT market

SoftBank's tech division eyes NFT market

As part of its plans to meet its mid-term revenue target, Japanese investment giant Softbank Group will be making a foray into the NFT space. Its internet arm “Z Holdings” will launch an NFT marketplace later this year.

Z Holdings’ NFT Mall may see the light of day this spring and will service customers in 180 countries, according to a top company executive.

The investment forms part of Z Holdings’ broader expansion plans, with the firm also planning to double the size of its fintech unit Paypay to 90m users.

Kentaro Kawabe, co-chief executive officer of Z Holdings, told Bloomberg that the company cannot afford to miss out on the opportunities the emerging web3 space presents, which includes markets like crypto, decentralized finance, NFTs, and the metaverse.

It’s possible Web3 will herald a world where life is completely different and we don’t want the company to miss out on the huge growth opportunity.

Z Holdings is the product of a merger between Yahoo Japan and popular Asian messaging service Line Corp.

Softbank handed the responsibility of driving its technology mandate to Z Holdings, in order to compete with other major players in the arena of emerging technologies.

Softbank’s leap into the world of NFTs comes after Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten launched its own NFT and anime marketplace in February. Animoca Brands also reportedly plans to float an NFT marketplace in Japan this year. Z Holdings may have to compete with them and others with its NFT mall plans.

Z Holdings is just another avenue Softbank is using to strengthen its foothold in the Web3 space. In November, it led a $93 million funding round for blockchain gaming platform “The Sandbox” while also investing $150 million in South Korean metaverse platform Zepeto.

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