Japan’s SBI Invests ‘Eight-figure’ USD in A Taiwan-based Blockchain Startup
Japan’s SBI Crypto Investment, a subsidiary of SBI Holdings, has make a strategic investment in Taiwan-based blockchain startup OwlTing. It is an ‘eight-figure’ USD investment for 20% equity according to the press release statement, according to Taiwan’s local media.
OwlTing is a blockchain startup focused on e-commerce and blockchain services in global travel, food safety, social media platforms, global hotel booking and so on. It was founded in 2010 and has launched the world’s first blockchain based B2B system ‘OwlNest’ to provide a blockchain based hotel management service to hotel operators in late 2017.
SBI also eyes OwlNest and intends to applied this blockchain service in travel and hotel payments to make its global Fintech ecosystem becomes more valuable.
“OwlTing has offices in Japan, the U.S., and ASEAN countries with plans to expand this year to Sweden, Thailand, and Indonesia. The investment from SBI will allow OwlTing to accelerate expansion into Europe and establish offices for global operations,” said Darren Wang, founder and CEO of OwlTing.
In addition, Japan’s tourist industry is flourishing among other Asian counties, the partnership with SBI will help facilitate the sales of OwlNest in Japan. Up until now, OwlTing has partnered with more than 400 hotel operators in Taiwan and this startup estimated that the number will increase to 30,000 by nest year.
Wang also emphasized the most critical milestone for next year will be OwlTing’s initial public offering on NASDAQ.
SBI intends to adopt blockchain application into its financial and insurance related businesses. With the technical support from OwlTing SBI has ambitions to build a mature blockchain ecosystem in next decade.
Japanese financial services group SBI has already begun to lay out its cryptocurrency ecosystem since 2016. Earlier this year, SBI setup a $200 million blockchain and AI fund, and aims for the total amount of ultimate investment commitment to expand to $500 million.