SBI Investment sets up AI & Blockchain Fund

Maria Nikolova

The fund operation period will be approximately 10 years and its target commitment amount is JPY50 billion.

Amid the advent of novel financial technologies, SBI Investment Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of SBI Holdings Inc (TYO:8473), has just announced the establishment of SBI AI & Blockchain Fund. As its name suggests, the fund will invest in promising venture companies in AI and blockchain fields.

The launch of the new fund, with a target commitment amount is JPY50 billion, follows the success of the FinTech Fund (total commitment amount: JPY 30 billion) which SBI Investment established in December 2015, endeavoring to make investments in promising venture FinTech companies. Since then, the FinTech Fund has steadily conducted investment activities in response to the rising expectations for the future of blockchain and other FinTech-related businesses, as well as the emergence of many more promising venture companies than anticipated in Japan and overseas, and the know-how and knowledge of FinTech businesses cultivated by the SBI Group.

The SBI Group, as a whole, currently invests in 61 companies (approximately JPY 32 billion) including investments by SBI Holdings, etc.

The company notes that new technologies such as AI and blockchain are attracting global attention mostly in the financial sector, but they are also expected to be used in various other sectors, such as the medical, real estate and public sectors. As a result, SBI Investment has decided to set up this new fund as a successor to the FinTech Fund, aiming to make investments in promising venture companies conducting a broad range of AI and blockchain businesses, including that of FinTech companies along with IoT, robotics and the sharing economy, which are closely related to AI and blockchain technologies.

SBI Investment has been considering the launch of this new fund since around October 2017 and decided to start making investments reaching about JPY 20 billion in January 2018 in order to respond to strong demand from the existing FinTech Fund investors, domestic and overseas financial institutions, corporations, and institutional investors.

SBI Investment also aims to solicit additional investments from regional financial institutions (like regional banks and credit associations) and institutional investors (like life and non-life insurers, pension funds), and to increase the fund size to the JPY 50 billion level soon. In particular, regional financial institutions have already expressed their intentions to make investments. The number of those financial institutions is expected to significantly exceed 28 – the number of regional financial institutions that have invested in the FinTech Fund.

Like the FinTech Fund, the new Fund will support open innovation between investors and investee companies, and will seek to increase the value of investee companies, as well as actively help investors implement and use new technologies.

Recent data on fund flows for investment trust management companies shows that individual investors in Japan are being lured to trusts that focus on AI and other cutting-edge technologies.

Daiwa Asset Management, for instance, registered a net inflow of JPY 370.1 billion in 2017, the largest among investment trust management companies. A fund for investment in robotics-related stocks, introduced by Daiwa at the end of 2015, continues to lure investors. Goldman Sachs Asset Management also recorded strong sales of a fund for global stock investments utilizing big data.

Read this next

Retail FX

Investors from Cyprus and Dubai acquire ‘significant stake’ in M4Markets

Seychelles-regulated brokerage firm M4Markets firm has picked up some investment from Cyprus and Dubai based investors in a new funding round that it will be using to grow its business.

Executive Moves

UAE broker Amana elevates Amr Masry to sales director

Amr Masry has been promoted to a new senior role at Amana Capital, becoming the group’s newest Sales Director, following a successful tenure with the UAE-based FX and CFDs broker.

Executive Moves

TopFX promotes Omar Al-Janabi to head of sales and business development

Prime brokerage firm TopFX has strengthened its Middle East operations with the promotion of Omar Al-Janabi, who is taking on an expanded role as global head of sales and business development.

Retail FX

Plus500 says 2022 revenue to be ‘significantly’ ahead of analysts’ estimates

Israeli-based, but London-stock market listed Plus500 said it expects annual revenue and earnings to be ahead of analysts’ estimates even as trading levels normalised from record volumes in the first quarter.

Digital Assets

Crypto derivatives giant BitMEX launches spot market

Crypto exchange BitMEX is looking to branch out of its singular focus on crypto derivatives with a suite of new product offerings. Although derivatives are to remain at the heart of BitMEX’s business, the popular platform will add spot crypto trading as it aims to aggressively grow their user base.

Uncategorized

PrimeXM reports mixed trading volumes for April

PrimeXM has reported weaker trading volumes for April 2022, in line with other institutional and retail platforms that saw the activity of their clients dropped compared to a month earlier.

Digital Assets

DLT Finance approved by BaFin to support brokerage and custody of digital assets

DLT Finance is already partnered with big names within the digital asset space, including Kraken, Bitstamp, B2C2, and Bittrex.

Institutional FX

LUKB taps vestr to launch actively managed products, AMCs

The partnership with vestr goes to show the growing importance of digitising the active investment management space.

Digital Assets

Jewel taps Tokeny to launch stablecoin-as-a-service solution on Polygon

Jewel aims to offer a stablecoin-as-a-service solution to other digital asset and financial institutions B2B, allowing those businesses to provide cheaper, easier and near real time payments with stablecoins issued and redeemable directly at the bank level at Jewel.

<