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Animoca Brands Appoints Gen Kanai As Director of Strategic Partnerships

Highlights:

  • Gen Kanai, formerly director of Asia community engagement at Mozilla, appointed as director of strategic partnerships

  • At Mozilla, Mr Kanai was responsible for partnerships for the Japan market, helped launch Firefox OS, and grew Mozilla’s presence in Japan, China, Southeast and South Asia

  • Extensive international experience in business development in software and mobile industries

  • A mentor for 500 Startups and Chinaccelerator startup acceleration programmes

  • Mr Kanai will advance the Company’s blockchain strategy and partnership initiatives

  • Focus on developing business in Japan, including for Zeroth, the Company’s AI accelerator, which recently partnered with Softbank’s DEEPCORE

Animoca Brands Corporation Limited (ASX:AB1, the “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has appointed Gen Kanai as director of strategic partnerships. Mr Kanai was formerly director of Asia community engagement at Mozilla, the nonprofit organisation whose efforts include the Firefox browser and the advancement of the open Internet. Mr Kanai started and grew Mozilla’s presence in Japan, China, Southeast and South Asia.

Mr Kanai brings extensive international experience in business development in software and mobile industries. He was responsible for launching the e-commerce strategy of Toyota Motor Corporation in the USA, and he built Internet services for Sony Corporation’s digital imaging products. 

Over a 10-year career at Mozilla, Mr Kanai was responsible for search engine partnerships and marketing for the Japan market, starting and building an open source software developer network and various Firefox user communities across Asia. His work on the launch of the Firefox OS phone in Asia entailed working with mobile networks such as KDDI, Telenor and Grameenphone, T-Mobile, Telefonica, as well as handset manufacturers such as Alcatel, Spice, Intex, Symphony, and Cherry Mobile. Mr Kanai brings to Animoca Brands significant experience in starting and building user and developer communities, as well as developing and managing corporate partnerships in the mobile segment.

Mr Kanai is a mentor for the noted venture capital firm 500 Startups, and also a mentor for Chinaccelerator, a mentorship-driven program operated by multi-stage venture capital investor SOSV. As a mentor, Mr Kanai leverages his experience to help startups being accelerated to do business in Asia, particularly in Japan, and helps them navigate the differences between Asian and Western markets.

In his new role at Animoca Brands, Mr Kanai will help to advance the Company’s blockchain strategy and will utilise his contacts and background to develop the Company’s business and interests in Japan, including for Zeroth. Zeroth is a leading AI accelerator and a subsidiary of the Company; Zeroth recently formed a partnership with DEEPCORE, the wholly owned subsidiary of Tokyo-based SoftBank Group Corp. (TYO: 9984) (refer to ASX announcement of 19 November 2018).

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