SoPa allots another $20m to acquisitions

SoPa allots another $20m to acquisitions

Mr Nguyen says that SoPa has over 2.1 million registered consumers and more than 6,700 registered merchants and brands on its platform.
Mr Nguyen says that SoPa has over 2.1 million registered consumers and more than 6,700 registered merchants and brands on its platform.

Nasdaq-listed loyalty platform Society Pass (SoPa), which recently acquired Thailand-headquartered Thoughtful Media Group (TMG), a digital video multi-platform network (MPN) and social commerce platform, is looking to spend US$15-20 million more on acquisitions in Thailand in the second half to bolster its business ecosystem.

The move is part of SoPa's budget of $30 million it earmarked to acquire companies with potential in Asean in the second half. Some 12-15 firms are now on its radar.

"We see the opportunity of Southeast Asia, particularly Thailand, which is one of the four largest potential markets," said Dennis Nguyen, founder, chairman and chief executive of SoPa.

"Our goal is to become a market leader in loyalty and data-driven realms in Asean."

SoPa is now serving as an e-commerce holding firm, operating seven interconnected verticals involving loyalty, merchant software, lifestyle, food and beverage, telecoms, digital media, and travel.

"As a Nasdaq-listed firm, we have the ability to capitalise on any acquisitions. The economic challenges are making the valuation of acquired firms become more attractive," Mr Nguyen said.

SoPa's business model centres on analysing user data through its Society Pass Loyalty platform and circulation of its universal loyalty points or Society Points.

SoPa has over 2.1 million registered consumers and more than 6,700 registered merchants and brands on its platform.

Mr Nguyen said customers can earn and redeem Society Points that can level up loyalty for brands and generate more revenue for them. This approach would help merchants to retain their customers.

On July 14, SoPa announced its acquisition of TMG, which is a social-commerce focused, premium digital video MPN and social commerce platform.

TMG operates in the US, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines.

"This acquisition of Thoughtful Media marks SoPa's first foray into Thailand and adds to SoPa's growing ecosystem of technology-enabled companies located in the Southeast Asian countries of Vietnam, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand," said Mr Nguyen.

TMG recorded revenue of $5.8 million in 2021.

Its data-driven MPN has uploaded more than 675,000 videos with over 80 billion video views since 2010.

TMG's social commerce platform can level up reach and engagement for SoPa's e-commerce ecosystem and its retail partners, he said.

"The growing ubiquity of social media influencers on shaping purchase decisions has driven increasing numbers of brands to shift advertising budgets to this dynamic outlet," said Mr Nguyen.

According to professional service provider Accenture, the global social commerce market is poised to grow to $1.2 trillion by 2025.

Mr Nguyen said TMG is expected to register revenue of $10 million this year, 40% of which comes from Thailand.

The revenue is projected to hit $25 million in 2023 with 33% of it coming from Thailand.

According to him, there has been a rise in the use of influencers for marketing campaigns through Instagram and TikTok.

Other surging trends include live commerce and digital payment.

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