Japanese Tech Giant SoftBank Invests $150 Million In Korean Metaverse Platform

forbes.com -- Dec 03
Japanese billionaire Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank is investing $150 million in Asia’s busiest metaverse platform, the nascent but sizzling virtual world where people work and play through avatars.

SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 made its investment in metaverse platform Zepeto, operated by Naver Z, a unit of Korean billionaire Lee Hae-jin's internet giant Naver, according to media reports. The investment values three-year-old Zepeto at more than $1 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal. Zepeto’s other investors include Korean billionaire Bang Si-hyuk's HYBE, which manages K-pop boy band BTS.

The Japanese tech investment giant invested in Zepeto because of the company’s large following, says Rajiv Biswas, Asia-Pacific chief economist with research firm IHS Markit. Zepeto has about 2 million active users a day, making it Asia’s busiest metaverse platform with about 2 million active users a day, according to the Wall Street Journal report. Market research firm Sensor Tower says Zepeto was downloaded 400,000 times in July this year alone.