Japanese VC Global Brain to launch blockchain arm

A Bitcoin (virtual currency) paper wallet with QR codes and a coin are seen in an illustration picture shot May 27, 2015. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/Illustration/File Photo

Japan’s Global Brain Corporation has announced the setting up of a new subsidiary, GB Blockchain Labs Corporation (GBBL), to extend its contribution to the blockchain ecosystem as well as foster utilisation of the technology across industries and countries.

Founded in 1998, Global Brain is one of the largest independent venture capital firms from Japan, with $500 million in assets under management (AUM) and investments across Asia Pacific, the United States, Europe and Israel.

Given its deep roots in venture capital, GBBL works to add value to the community and ecosystem through its existing network and knowledge. Its key focus areas include building a community-driven blockchain ecosystem, connecting projects with the relevant human capital and contributing to the community’s growth through research and knowledge sharing.

The blockchain is an innovative technology that is likely to lead to refinement of industry standards but the general lack of knowledge, talent and experiences have hampered its utilisation. GBBL aims to create real-world use cases and support new businesses built on the blockchain.

Recent investments into blockchain startups by Global Brain include Coins.ph and Bluzelle.

As a VC player, GBBL will continue to back blockchain startups through financing. With the recent movement of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), the company looks to support blockchain startups from equity finance to ICO in order to pursue and create a hybrid financing structure for the startup’s growth.

Within those movements, the company will also further its research and share its knowledge base for blockchain, token economy and ICOs. Since blockchain and its related fields is relatively new to the market, GBBL plans to work closely with related parties to build and share its knowledge base to enhance accessibility to the blockchain.

Also Read: Japan: Global Brain launches $175m sixth fund

Exclusive: Global Brain is a hands-on VC, says Takashi Sano

Hyperledger, smart contracts and private blockchains are a key focus: IBM

Given its community roots, as it matures, GBBL expects to be more actively involved with the blockchain community, enterprises and government agencies.

Jun Hasegawa, CEO & Founder of Omise and OmiseGO, along with other notable advisors from the blockchain foundation will be joining the advisory board of GBBL.

Hasegawa currently serves as CEO at Omise, a multinational payments company currently present across Southeast Asia.

Due to a strong belief in blockchain technology, he established OmiseGO, a crowd-funded blockchain division of Omise which is tasked with creating the OmiseGO network, an Ethereum-based public blockchain to enable financial service equity by decentralizing value transfer and exchange.

Other members of the advisory board are Thomas Greco, ex-BoD advisory of Ethereum Foundation and Special advisor of OmiseGO; Kai Cheng Chng, CEO & Founder of Digix; and Ron Hose, CEO & Founder of Coins.ph.

Digix is developing a chain of custody protocol, called ‘Proof of Asset’, to transparently track, audit and verify asset tokens on the blockchain. And, Coins.ph is a mobile blockchain-enabled platform that enables individuals to easily access financial service via a mobile wallet.

Also Read: 

Singapore: Blockchain provider Bluezelle closes $1.5m Series A

SE Asia’s middle income markets present large VC potential: Takashi Sano, Global Brain

Japan: Global Brain leads Series A driverless car booster Trillium

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.