-Second-round collaboration with the Vodafone Group aimed for a “new economy” environment-
Sumitomo Corporation (Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director, President and Chief Executive Officer: Masayuki Hyodo; “Sumitomo”) will invest in DABCO Limited (Head Office: London; CEO: Jorge Bento; “DABCO”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Vodafone Group Plc (“Vodafone”), a leading British telecommunications company (?1). DABCO provides a digital platform that enables autonomous identification and communication between connected devices that can automatically process payments and other sorts of transactions using SIM cards under the name of Digital Asset Broker.
Since November 2020, Sumitomo and Vodafone have together been exploring the possibility of collaborating in various industries, with a principal focus on IT and digital services. In November 2022, we entered into a previous transaction with Vodafone in Ethiopia, providing telecommunications network services through Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia PLC, the related joint venture, in the capital city of Addis Ababa and other cities.
The recent agreement for Sumitomo to invest in DABCO represents a second project with Vodafone. By promoting global development of the Digital Asset Broker platform service for the ever-more efficient and optimum connectivity of IoT devices, we are looking to create a “new economy” environment enabled by autonomous communication between all sorts of connected devices.
Digital Asset Broker is a digital platform configured to enable devices connected by different networks to communicate with each other safely by assigning an ID to the SIM card inserted in each device. At present, this technology is offered by Digital Asset Broker, which has been made possible with patented technologies developed by Vodafone for SIM card processing as well as blockchain technologies. In the mobility field, for instance, owing to the system configured by assigning an ID to a (network agnostic) SIM card inserted in a vehicle, the user can automatically make payments for purchases of goods and services. This means that the vehicle itself functions to autonomously pay for charges for EV charging and other services, according to the setup conditions. By adopting this system, automakers can improve the UX(?2) of their products, one key to increasing customer satisfaction over the long term.
To promote the business, we are drawing up a phased expansion plan by considering possible use cases by sector and location. We will start by focusing on the mobility sector in the UK and Germany,and then other European countries and North America at a later date as well as expansion into various industries in future.Our possible plans also extend to forming a partnership with Sumitomo Corporation Group company SCSK Corporation in order to develop an Asian market including Japan, and a long-term vision of entering the smart city business. Based on this plan, we will endeavor to expand the market for this new Digital platform, wishing to support many people’s lives.
Sumitomo Corporation is focusing on shifting its business portfolio through business transformation based on DX (Digital Transformation) in its mid-term management plan “SHIFT 2023”. In building use cases for the Digital Asset Broker, we will use our accumulated DX Knowledge and support global development, aiming to create new businesses that will help realize a smart society.
Going forward, Sumitomo and Vodafone will move further forward to consider new projects mainly for Europe and Africa, bringing together appropriate business resources and expertise from each, and supporting the development of the local society and economy while addressing various social challenges.
??1?The transaction is conditional on receiving antitrust clearances and will proceed once those have been secured.
??2?*UX stands for “user experience,” referring to experiences related to the way a user interacts with a product and service.
|Business||:||Develops and provides platform service Digital Asset Broker, which enables autonomous identification and communication between connected devices to automatically process payments and other sorts of transactions. For more information on Digital Asset Broker, please visit https://www.vdigitalassetbroker.com/|
|Ownership||:||80% by Vodafone; 20% by Sumitomo|