Vodafone names EoT venture Pairpoint

Jorge Bento, Pairpoint CEO.

Vodafone and Japanese trading company Sumitomo have announced that their economy of things (EoT) venture, previously known as Digital Asset Broker, will be called Pairpoint.

Pairpoint provides a secure digital platform that allows vehicles, devices and machines to interact and trade with each other autonomously and seamlessly.

This will help individuals and business take advantage of the opportunities presented by the growing EoT, said to be the next evolution of connectivity in which devices can interact and trade securely. Pairpoint provides a safe environment in which these connected devices, machines and vehicles can now seamlessly and securely transact with each other without human intervention, but with the owner in full control.

While the IoT connects digital devices, independent research company STL Partners predicts that up to 3.3 billion of these connected devices will be trading directly by 2030, representing a tenth of the overall IoT market.

Pairpoint leverages the geographical scale and experience of Vodafone’s IoT platform – one of the world’s largest, with over 160 million connections – with Sumitomo, one of the largest international trading and business investment companies. Pairpoint’s technology is built on the widely used Digital Asset Broker (DAB) service from Vodafone and can operate over any IoT connectivity platform to secure transactions made between devices without direct human intervention.

The launch of the Pairpoint brand is the next step of a process started by both companies in May this year to set up a stand-alone business that could unlock the business opportunities arising from the EoT for customers and partners. It combines Vodafone’s DAB technology with Sumitomo’s ability to integrate the service across multiple business sectors, starting with electric vehicles (EVs), which will be able to transact and communicate autonomously with charging stations from many providers.

Taking advantage of decentralised ledger technology, Pairpoint turns the device into a trusted agent while customers retain control over the services with which their devices interact. And EV charging is just the start. Vodafone and Sumitomo are working with Mastercard and IBM to expand partnerships and widen the ecosystem to include other technology partners such as public blockchains and different payment schemes, regardless of device or provider.

Other uses include DAB-enabled devices talking directly with smart contracts across multiple parties, and customers subscribing to services offered directly by everyday machines such as toll roads and parking meters.

“We are thrilled to announce Pairpoint, an exciting new venture between Sumitomo and Vodafone,” said Jorge Bento, Pairpoint’s CEO. “Our innovative and market-tested Digital Asset Broker platform, coupled with Sumitomo’s vast commercial network, places Pairpoint in a unique position to unlock the full potential of the economy of things and create many business opportunities for our customers and partners. Pairpoint comprises a team of highly qualified professionals with a start-up attitude backed by two strong parent organisations. We expect Pairpoint to bring more use cases to market across a diverse set of industries as the economy of things becomes commonplace.”

Pairpoint (pairpoint.io) is the result of €60m shared investment, with Vodafone (www.vodafone.com) and Sumitomo (www.sumitomocorp.com) respectively owning 80% and 20% of the new company. Headquartered in London, and with offices in Lisbon, Pairpoint builds on two years of development work within Vodafone and now comprises 50 qualified professionals. To date, Pairpoint has established partnerships with a number of companies, including Mastercard, Deloitte, HSBC, Corda R3, TCS, IBM and Chainlink, to accelerate the adoption of this platform.