Vietnamese tech company FPT Corporation has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with SBI Holdings Incorporated, a Japanese financial services company group, to invest US$3 million in Vietnamese startup Utop, in a move expected to bridge loyalty point programs among merchants.
As reported by DealStreetAsia, Utop was developed based on FPT’s akaChain enterprise blockchain platform and claims to provide an easy and convenient means for users to receive and redeem loyalty points at retailers sharing the same network. It collaborates with small businesses to link their reward programs with one another in order to reduce costs maintain data security.
According to Utop cofounder and CEO Pham Nguyen Vu, the platform has been tested since last December in FPT’s “minimum viable ecosystem,” as well as sectors such as finance, retail and insurance. The cofounder also said the funding from FPT and SBI would be “a great kick start” in helping Utop fortify its foundations and take more emboldened steps in the future.
FPT and SBI have collaborated in Vietnam for many years, with the majority of SBI’s companies in the country either backed or jointly operated by FPT through its subsidiaries, including FPT Securities, Sendo and TP Bank.
FPT Chairman Truong Gia Binh said FPT has defined digital transformation as the company’s key strategy, accompanying customers worldwide in their digital journey while helping to improve their businesses processes and leveraging their position.
He added that Utop will have a role in developing thousands of domestic businesses as well as bringing convenience and “interesting shopping experiences” for millions of consumers, which in turn contributes to the overall development of Vietnam’s digital economy.
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