Japanese financial giant and long-time Ripple partner SBI has struck a deal with OneConnect, part of the Chinese insurance giant Ping An Group. The companies have agreed to launch a recently formed company in Japan, with the aim of revitalizing smaller, regional Japanese banks using blockchain technology and fintech solutions.
Per Nikkei and TechCrunch Japan, the joint-venture company is named SBI OneConnect Japan, with SBI stumping up 60% of the investment, and Ping An providing the remaining 40% of the company’s funding.
OneConnect has stated that the joint-venture company will be introducing its “fintech services to financial institutions and businesses across Japan.”
OneConnect specializes in providing fintech solutions for small- and medium-sized banks. It claims to have applied for 161 blockchain-related patents, six of which have been green-lighted. The company has been included in the Fintech100 report by H2 Ventures and “big four” accounting firm KPMG.
SBI has already expressed a wish to work with many of the country’s ailing regional banks, and the joint venture company will begin working with partners such as Fukushima Bank and Shimane Bank.
SBI has previously made investments in OneConnect, which claims to have worked with 3,700 companies in China, providing mobile and online solutions. Another Japanese financial giant, Softbank, has also previously invested in the Ping An subsidiary.
Ping An is one of China’s biggest insurance providers, and earlier this year announced it had begun issuing blockchain-powered smart legal contracts.
OneConnect says it has also worked with partners elsewhere in Asia, including the Union Bank of the Philippines, with whom it says it created a blockchain-powered platform for micro-, small- and medium-sized businesses. Meanwhile, as reported in December, OneConnect aims to raise up to USD 504 million in an initial public offering, compared to USD 1 billion, reportedly considered in June this year.