Animoca Brands Japan, a strategic subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Web3 firm Animoca Brands Corporation Limited (Animoca Brands), announced Thursday that it has invested JP¥150 million ($112.8m) into LMI GROUP Inc. (LMI).

The investment will assist LMI to accelerate its growth and expand its reach in the retail media sector in Japan, Animoca Brands said in a statement on Thursday.

LMI, whose predecessor company was founded in 1987, provides and develops various types of solutions for retail companies, utilizing its long experience in both physical and virtual shop design.

In recent years, LMI has been reflecting online customer data collection/utilization to offline real shops and has been engaged in maximizing value to space by use of real world data in commercial/life space.

As the post-COVID recovery accelerates, the retail media sector is expected to grow in Japan and around the world.

Animoca Brands Japan believes that LMI’s knowledge of and experience in the retail space make it a valuable partner to create new value and contribute to the overall development of the retail industry, leveraging LMI’s capabilities and network as a leading solution provider in this field.

“We are grateful for this investment opportunity into LMI, who has established itself as a leading promoter of Digital Transformation (DX) in the retail sector, and is now eyeing an initial public offering (IPO),” said Kyoya Okazawa, Co-founder and Chief Investment Officer of Animoca Brands Japan.

“Synergies with the Animoca Brands ecosystem will be identified to help LMI to promote ways to reinvigorate the retail sector,

“We believe that Web3 can contribute enormously to productivity in Japan’s retail sector, leading to job creation and wage increases, and we look forward to exploring all these opportunities together,” he added.

Shunsuke Nagai, President of LMI Group Inc, said :”“We are greatly honored to have Animoca Brands invest in us. We have reason to believe that real-world retail data underestimates the recovery of the retail industry, and the rediscovery and utilization of that value could create new possibilities for the retail industry and connect improved productivity with wage increases.”

“We will apply the considerable Web3 expertise of Animoca Brands to the retail industry, and we look forward to the innovations that we will create together. Our focus will be on generation Z, leveraging non-fungible token (NFT), blockchain technologies, and community to increase engagement and consumption in the retail sector,

“We are thrilled at the opportunity to build a strong partnership with Animoca Brands as we seek to deliver new value to Japanese society,” he added.

LMI is an innovator team of professionals with various strengths in multiple areas, aiming for higher growth of each marketplace and expansion of the overall industry and its engagement with consumers.

The firm aims to create new value for all consumers by utilizing real world data in the areas of commercial space and life space.

Founded in 2021, Animoca Brands Japan was established to support the global Web3 strategies of Japanese intellectual property and content holders such as major publishers, brands, education, sports teams, athletes, artists and game companies.

The firm provides a platform that combines IPs with blockchain technology, and supports IP holders to build their own ecosystem through a full stack of Web3 services, providing a bridge between Japanese IPs and global fans.

Animoca Brands Japan invests in global entertainment company Rainshine Global Inc.