A startup story
10:08 | 13/08/2019 Science - Technology
(VEN) - Vietnam’s FPT Group and Japan’s leading financial services company SBI Holdings recently signed a memorandum of understanding in Tokyo to invest US$3 million in Utop, a Vietnamese startup that bridges loyalty point programs among merchants. Utop makes it easy and convenient for users to garner and redeem loyalty points at retailers within the same network, thereby enabling small businesses to grow faster.
According to SBI Holdings President and CEO Yoshitaka Kitao, SBI and FPT have cooperated effectively in many past years by leveraging the strengths of both sides. A majority of SBI’s companies in Vietnam are either invested in or jointly operated by FPT through its subsidiaries such as FPT Securities, Sendo, or TPBank, he said.
"Based on FPT’s enterprise blockchain platform akaChain, its technology capabilities, as well as strong network of customers, I am completely positive that this is the best time to launch Utop. I hope it has lots of potential to grow,” Yoshitaka Kitao added.
Utop was developed based on FPT’s enterprise blockchain platform akaChain, which has been implemented in many countries and across various sectors, from finance, insurance and retail to supply chain.
Through partnership with Utop, small businesses could link their reward programs with each other to reduce costs and keep data secure thanks to the multi-layered architecture of akaChain platform. Utop also ensures high liquidity for end users by allowing them to redeem points at any merchants within the network. It helps improve discount and reward programs and, at the same time, enhances customer experiences.
Utop is a product of the Utop Technology Joint Stock Company - a member of FPT Software. Utop was put into operation in December 2018 as one of the first applications in Southeast Asia to use the blockchain technology to build loyal customer networks. The application is supported on Android and iOS mobile devices.
Utop affirmed its determination to make further efforts to become a leading point redemption unit not only in Vietnam but also worldwide.
In Japan, loyalty card systems are available at almost every shopping center, convenience store and drugstore. These systems enable customers to garner points when buying from any manufacturer. An example is T-point card first issued by TSUTAYA, which can be used at Family Mart convenience stores. Utop is expected to become a leading brand in this field.
Truong Gia Binh, Chairman of the Board at FPT, believes Utop will create business development opportunities for thousands of Vietnamese companies, enable millions of consumers to have convenient and interesting shopping experiences, and contribute to promoting the digital economy in Vietnam.