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Japanese VC Firm Mistletoe Strengthens Crypto Focus, Says Web3 Will Spread to All Industries

Fredrik Vold
Last updated: | 2 min read
Source: AdobeStock / Trey


The Japanese venture capital firm Mistletoe is strengthening its focus on the crypto industry amidst the market downturn, arguing that Web3 will “spread to all industry segments” in the future, just like the Internet has done.

Speaking with, Atsushi Taira, the co-founder of Mistletoe, said the firm is increasingly looking to support the blockchain and broader Web3 industry through venture investments going forward.

He explained that the focus will be on projects that make a “positive impact” on society, and said Mistletoe will be both “proactive and aggressive” in its support for the right companies.

Mistletoe is a venture ecosystem builder and startup investment firm founded by Japanese entrepreneur and billionaire Taizo Son, the brother of SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son. The firm has offices in Japan and Singapore.

In terms of the most important innovations in crypto at the moment, Taira pointed to Ethereum (ETH) 2.0, scaling techniques such as Zero-Knowledge proofs, as well as the coming mass adoption of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and crypto-based gaming (GameFi), as some of the most interesting developments.

He added that he believes Web3 will develop as a natural progression from today’s internet, and argued that these developments will be irreversible. 

Web3 will be the “default for all industry verticals,” Taira said.

Commenting on specific investments the technology-focused VC firm has made in the crypto industry, Taira mentioned a USD 1m investment in the education-oriented metaverse platform Learnoverse as an important step.

According to Mistletoe’s Taira, Learnoverse is expected to become one of the most important entry points to crypto for new users and investors who want to learn. As such, the platform fills a clear need in the market, he said.

Although currently based in Europe, Taira said Learnoverse is set to expand globally, with a focus on Asian countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam, Japan, and South Korea. These are all countries where crypto, including crypto play-to-earn (P2E) gaming, has a strong position, he said.

Despite having made promising investments in crypto, there are still challenges ahead for the industry, Taira warned. Most important among these is the regulatory framework for crypto, which he described as “quite messy” and different in all countries. In addition, tax issues are also high on the list for companies, he said.

And according to the Mistletoe co-founder, the situation in terms of regulations and taxes around the world has now become so difficult that a “creative legal structure” and an operation that spans multiple countries could be “the only way” for companies operating in the crypto space. Having good tax and legal advisors is key for companies in the space, Taira concluded.


Learn more: 
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PM Says Web3 Is an Opportunity for Japanese ‘Economic Growth’

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