Japan Recruit Holdings Unveils US$25M Blockchain Fund

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Recruit Holdings, the Japanese Internet and human resources firm that owns Glassdoor and Indeed, has launched a US$25 million blockchain fund.

The establishment of RSP Blockchain Tech Fund, launched in November 2018 and based in Singapore, was only made public this week with the announcement of the fund’s investment in Beam.

The fund focuses on investing in blockchain startup companies primarily from overseas, and will do deals in both tokens and equity.

“When we had an equity fund we weren’t as flexible as we wanted to be,” Youngrok Kim, senior vice president of Recruit Strategic Partners (RSP), toldTechCrunch in an interview this week. “We weren’t in a position to buy tokens and assets. We will continue to have two vehicles, we will use the crypto fund and the RSP fund in tandem as needed.”

Despite the so-called crypto winter, which saw the overall token market capitalization loose roughly 80% of its value from its highs, Kim sees ample reasons to operate a token-based fund.

“We still see a lot of ICOs, the relative number is smaller but we still see a good amount of deal flow for token and equity raising. We are positive with the outlook,” he said. “We’re a strong believer in blockchain and decentralized technology.”

RSP Blockchain Tech Fund invested an undisclosed amount into Beam earlier this year. The Israeli startup has created a Mimblewimble-based privacy coin.

“We seek to discover companies that will have a real impact and society and where we can contribute as Recruit,” Kim said, adding that there are currently a number of upcoming deals in the pipeline.

Recruit provides integrated human resource services and operates through business segments that include HR technology, media and solutions, and staffing.

Recruit joins the growing Japanese corporates that have established crypto token funds.

Line Corp., the operator of Japan’s leading messaging app, launched a US$10 million crypto fund called Unblock Ventures in July 2018. Line also operates Bitbox, a cryptocurrency exchange based in Singapore.


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