Entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa to set up US$78m fund for Web3 investment

Japanese businessman Yusaku Maezawa has unveiled his plan to set up a 10 billion yen (approximately US$78 million) fund to invest in Web3 and metaverse-related companies and projects.

The targets of the MZ Web3 Fund will be seed-stage to early-stage companies that focus on Web3 operations or utilise VR, AR and XR technologies. A single investment amount ranges from several million yen to several hundred million yen, through equity, NFT and tokens, according to Maeazawa’s plan announced on May 27. 

Applicant companies can receive funding within one week after passing a screening process, and will receive support in promotion, marketing, as well as technology and crypto fields. 

In his Twitter, Maezawa wrote that the idea of Web3 has the potential to illuminate people and places that have not been covered by capitalism until now. “It also has the potential to change money itself, such as non-share tokens and NFTs. I feel that a very exciting world is expanding in front of us. Why don’t we all do something about it?” He wrote. “Instant decision. Entrepreneurs, please apply.” 

Last December, Maezawa became the first Japanese civilian to stay on the International Space Station (ISS), and the first photograph he took was published as an NFT from the ISS under the title “Rendezvous.” 

On January 30, he tweeted, “Why don’t we all make a DAO [decentralised autonomous organisation] together?” 

“What we couldn’t do in a joint-stock company, we might be able to do in a DAO. In a joint-stock company, there is a distance between shareholders/management and employees, like those who pay salaries and those who receive them. But in a DAO, everyone works together as one, everyone comes up with ideas, everyone makes money together and everyone shares it.” 

“I think that in the future, this new form of DAO will expand like a joint-stock company, and one person will participate in multiple DAOs.” He wrote at the time.

However, some of Maezawa’s views have been challenged by his Twitter followers. In one Tweet on March 15, he suggested that “we should not make money from Web3,” prompting some followers to question his intentions.