True Digital Group, the digital subsidiary of Thai telecom giant True Corporation, has invested an undisclosed amount in Philippine-based loyalty and e-commerce platform Zap.
Zap – which is part of Kickstart Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Philippines mobile operator Globe Telecom – assists food and beverage (F&B) establishments in implementing rewards and loyalty programs, and says it now works with over 4 million people and 2,000 retailers.
Dindo Marzan, True Digital‘s country head in the Philippines, says True Digital sees Zap as an opportunity to “help [True Digital] close the gap in the consumer’s digital journey” in the country as a “local market expert”.
“[We] believe that together, we will be able to deliver an exciting experience for consumers in the Philippines,” Marzan said.
Meanwhile, ZAP Group CEO and co-founder Dustin Cheng said that the working relationship with True Digital presents “new synergies for Zap” in terms of smart retail and analytics, and that Zap will use the capital from True to add new features to its end-to-end platform
“These include richer analytics and remarketing and targeting features that will help partners foster better customer relationships and ultimately increase sales,” said Cheng.
Zap debuted its e-store service in June 2020, in collaboration with Shopify, to assist clients accept, fulfill, and deliver orders. Zap claims that in just over a year since its start, the company has expanded five times to onboard 483 Filipino food and beverage businesses.
Zap aspires to become an end-to-end platform that captures every point of contact between customers and merchants while offering value through a variety of tools and services.
“Our initial investment in ZAP was backed by the belief that their platform could digitize the Filipino consumer and enterprise experience,” said Minette Navarrete, president of Kickstart Ventures. “Over the last decade and through a pandemic, they’ve continued to prove the value of their unified data and analytics platform that has provided enterprises with a strategic advantage to develop and promote consumer products.”
True Digital’s investment in Zap is just latest of a number of private sector investments by Thai companies in the Philippines spanning a wide variety of industries, from technology and e-commerce to banking, healthcare, and agriculture. Thailand is also leading the region’s IPO boom, followed closely by the Philippines.