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Vietnam’s Society Pass to acquire PHL e-commerce businesses

As part of its Philippine expansion, Society Pass (SoPa), a Vietnamese loyalty points company, is acquiring four to five local e-commerce businesses in the next few months.

“Let’s say you go to Manila on a business trip. You can go to a restaurant in Manila and redeem the loyalty points you earned in a restaurant in Vietnam,” said SoPa founder, chairman, and CEO Dennis Nguyen, in a Dec. 9 press briefer. “The model of our business is to turn data into loyalty and revenues.”

The beta version of its loyalty app, for both iOS and Android, will roll out to Filipino customers and merchants before the end of the year.

SoPa has already hired a Philippine general manager and head of human resources, both of whom are based in Manila.

Mr. Nguyen said the Philippines was a “favorable prospect” due to its young, educated, English-speaking population, as well as its high Internet penetration rate.

E-commerce adoption moreover rose to 80.2% this year from 70% in 2019 and 76% in 2020, according to Trade secretary Ramon M. Lopez.

SoPa is the first Vietnam-based company to complete a traditional initial public offering on the stock market outside its home country. Its 1.5 million registered users to date earn universal loyalty points from over 3,500 registered merchants.

The company has seven interconnected consumer-facing and merchant-facing platforms that generate universal loyalty points for customers, and revenue for merchants.

Aside from the loyalty app and loyalty marketplace website, its five other platforms are the Leflair app and marketplace website, an e-commerce marketplace in Vietnam; the #HOTTAB point-of-sale solution that offers financial support packages for small and medium-sized enterprises; and the #HOTTAB biz app and administration website that provides order management for SoPa’s merchant partners.

The company spans verticals such as food and beverage, lifestyle, beauty, travel, and merchant software. In the Philippines, it will focus on the first two. — Patricia B. Mirasol

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