With the announcement of funding invested in Japanese firm Startale Labs, gaming giant Sony will increase its already active exploration of Web3 and the possibilities inherent in blockchain technologies.

Fast facts

  • Sony Network Communications Inc., part of gaming and electronics giant Sony Group, will invest US$3.5 million in Japanese Web3 tech company Startale Labs to expand Web3 infrastructure globally, Startale Labs CEO Sota Watanabe announced at the IVC Crypto conference in Kyoto on Wednesday. 
  • While the amount of funding is relatively low, it is nonetheless significant given Sony’s increasing involvement in Web3, or what is seen as an evolution of a decentralized internet based on blockchain technologies, non-fungible tokens, decentralized autonomous organizations and the metaverse.
  • This includes a patent filed in March to make NFTs transferable between different games and consoles, and a tie-up with California-based blockchain infrastructure developer Theta Labs aimed at creating NFTs for virtual reality headsets. 
  • “What is this capital alliance with Sony Network Communications?” said Startale’s Watanabe when making the announcement. “It is just a beginning. From here, we plan to embark on a whole range of collaborations and businesses tie-ups together, so watch this space.” 
  • In a press release accompanying the announcement, Jun Watanabe, President and Executive Officer of Sony Network Communications Inc., added that his company believes the partnership will go on to “contribute to the creation of new killer Web3 use cases and deliver unprecedented levels of value.”
  • The funding announcement arrives at the culmination of a successful Web3 startup incubation project jointly hosted by the two companies, alongside smart contract platform Astar Network — another company helmed by Sota Watanabe.
  • The three-month program accepted applications from Web3-related startups, offering workshops, resources and guidance for firms focused on developing use cases for NFTs and DAOs in particular.