Sony funding arm invests in MagicCube technology

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Sony has invested in digital transaction security firm MagicCube, citing it as the Sony Innovation Fund's first investment outside of Japan.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based MagicCube provides a software-based platform for large-scale deployment of security and management of payments and digital transactions across mobile and internet-based devices.

In addition to receiving certification from the EMVCo consortium in the past year, MagicCube has also focused on PIN-on-glass security methods for the past few years to complement its other protective software.

“Many believe that MagicCube’s hardware-free software platform has ushered in a new era in security by making it safe and easy for merchants to use any mobile or IoT device to conduct payments,” Gen Tsuchikawa, chief investment officer for Sony Innovation Fund, said in a Thursday press release. “They took an innovative and scalable approach, thereby enabling merchants throughout the world to benefit from best-in-class payment acceptance while offering a much more seamless experience for their customers."

Sony did not disclose the amount of its investment. The company joins a group of other investors that have backed MagicCube — Azure Capital, Bold Capital, Epic Ventures, NTT Data and Visa Inc. A year ago, MagicCube partnered with NTT Data to provide its PIN-on-glass software as a part of NTT Data's integration tools.

MagicCube has positioned its security software as one disrupting a $48 billion-a-year legacy payment terminal market in that merchants and banks can avoid buying and subsidizing single-function card-acceptance devices by using MagicCube apps for accepting payments.

“We have been hard at work for the past two years developing this entirely new category in an industry where standards have been dominated by hardware,” MagicCube co-founders Nancy Zayed and Sam Shawki stated in the press release. “We are delighted to see an industry giant like Sony supporting the new paradigm of mobile and IoT device security that we call Software Defined Trust. As always, when software replaces hardware, everything becomes downloadable and upgradable, allowing the market to grow exponentially.”

The Sony Innovation Fund, established in 2016 through Sony Corp., collaborates with startups to connect them with businesses throughout Sony and its worldwide network of partners.

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