Kanai will help advance Animoca’s blockchain strategy and will utilise his contacts and background to develop the company’s business and interests in Japan, including for Animoca’s AI accelerator Zeroth.
Zeroth, a 100%-owned Animoca subsidiary, recently formed a partnership with DEEPCORE, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Tokyo-based Softbank Group Corp (TYO:9984).
Zeroth and DEEPCORE will collaborate to share deal flow, expertise and information for technology investments in Asian markets, bring their respective communities together, and back the growth of the AI founder community over the next few years.
Kanai brings to Animoca substantial experience in starting and building user and developer communities, as well as developing and managing corporate partnerships in the mobile segment.
He also has extensive international experience in software and mobile industry business development, having been responsible for launching Toyota’s US e-commerce strategy and building internet services for Sony’s digital imaging products.
In his 10-year career at Mozilla, Kanai grew the organisation’s presence in Japan, China, Southeast and South Asia.
He was responsible for search engine partnerships and marketing for Japan and worked with mobile networks to launch the Firefox operating system phone in Asia.
Networks with which Kanai has worked with include KDDI, Telenor and Grameenphone, T-Mobile, Telefonica, as well as handset manufacturers such as Alcatel, Spice, Intex, Symphony and Cherry Mobile.
Kanai is also a mentor for the venture capital firm 500 Startups and also for Chinaccelerator, a mentorship-driven program operated by multi-stage venture capital investor SOSV.
As a mentor, Kanai leverages his experience to assist start-ups to accelerate their business in Asia, particularly in Japan, and helps them navigate the differences between Asian and Western markets.