Vodafone and Japanese trading company Sumitomo have unveiled that their economy of things (EoT) venture, previously referred to as Digital Asset Broker, will now be known as Pairpoint.
Pairpoint provides a secure digital platform enabling vehicles, devices, and machines to autonomously and seamlessly interact and trade with each other. This innovation aims to assist individuals and businesses in leveraging the opportunities presented by the expanding EoT, an evolution in connectivity where devices can interact and trade securely. Pairpoint offers a safe space for these connected devices, machines, and vehicles to transact seamlessly and securely without human intervention, maintaining full owner control.
While the IoT connects digital devices, independent research company STL Partners forecasts that by 2030, up to 3.3 billion of these devices will be trading directly, constituting a tenth of the overall IoT market.
Pairpoint merges the geographical scale and expertise of Vodafone’s IoT platform – one of the largest globally with over 160 million connections – with Sumitomo’s vast experience in international trading and business investment. The technology of Pairpoint, based on Vodafone’s widely-utilised Digital Asset Broker (DAB) service, can function on any IoT connectivity platform to secure device transactions without direct human involvement.
The introduction of the Pairpoint brand marks a significant progression in a joint venture initiated by the companies in May to establish an independent business aimed at unlocking EoT business opportunities for customers and partners. It integrates Vodafone’s DAB technology with Sumitomo’s capacity to apply the service across multiple sectors, initially focusing on EVs. These EVs will be able to autonomously transact and communicate with charging stations from various providers.
Utilising decentralised ledger technology, Pairpoint transforms the device into a trusted agent, allowing customers to retain control over their devices’ interactions. This technology’s initial application is in EV charging, but there are plans to expand. Vodafone and Sumitomo, collaborating with Mastercard and IBM, are working to broaden the ecosystem, involving other technology partners, public blockchains, and various payment methods, regardless of the device or provider.
Additional applications include DAB-enabled devices directly communicating with smart contracts across multiple parties, and customers subscribing to services offered by everyday machines like toll roads and parking meters.
Jorge Bento, CEO of Pairpoint, expressed his excitement: “We are thrilled to announce Pairpoint, a new venture between Sumitomo and Vodafone. Our market-tested Digital Asset Broker platform, combined with Sumitomo’s extensive commercial network, positions Pairpoint uniquely to fully realise the economy of things’ potential, creating numerous business opportunities. Pairpoint’s team, composed of highly qualified professionals with a start-up mindset, is supported by two strong parent organisations. We anticipate Pairpoint to bring a variety of use cases to various industries as the economy of things becomes more prevalent.”
Pairpoint is the outcome of a €60m joint investment by Vodafone and Sumitomo, holding 80% and 20% stakes in the new company, respectively. Based in London with offices in Lisbon, Pairpoint builds on two years of development work within Vodafone and currently includes a team of 50 professionals. The company has established partnerships with several firms, including Mastercard, Deloitte, HSBC, Corda R3, TCS, IBM, and Chainlink, to expedite the platform’s adoption.