In modern times, mobile data is almost a necessity for the consumers as phones have become a ubiquitous part of our lives.
In response, several telcos in Singapore have started offering larger packets of data in their mobile plan offerings to cater to data-heavy users. Gone are the days when data offerings were denominated in megabytes; They are now listed in gigabytes, a testament to the importance of mobile data to consumers.
But as competition for how much data consumers get, one particular telco began giving consumers the option of doing something different with their data.
Founded in 2019, Gorilla Networks married two concepts that had nothing to do with each other: mobile data and cryptocurrency.
Founder and CEO Zain Leo was inspired by how mobile plans were inflexible in Singapore, requiring users to accurately estimate their monthly usage and data consumption.
He pledged to let his telco offer users a new type of mobile plan – one that would allow users to pay only for what they used, and convert the rest into digital assets like cryptocurrency and NFTs.
Image credit: Society Pass
Recently, Gorilla Networks has been acquired by New York Stock Exchange-listed Society Pass (SoPa), a Vietnamese loyalty and data-focused marketing platform in Southeast Asia and South Asia.
Our proprietary blockchain technology aligns well with SOPA’s acquisition strategy. As we work closely with Societe Pass to incorporate Gorilla’s blockchain and Web3 capabilities, we aim to enable a new meta-economy for SOPA’s portfolio companies as well as our users.
–Zane Leo, founder and CEO of Gorilla Networks
This acquisition aims to leverage SOPA’s existing platforms and connections, and enable Gorilla Networks to expand its customer base in areas where SOPA is active.
According to Gorilla Networks, it plans to expand its user base to Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia within the next 12 months.
“We have chosen these countries considering SOPA’s extensive ecosystem and the large user base in SEA. In addition, SOPA operates Lefair.com, Vietnam’s leading lifestyle e-commerce platform; Pushkart.ph, a popular grocery delivery company in the Philippines; and Handycart.vn, a leading online restaurant delivery service based in Hanoi, Vietnam,” she explained.
“Joining forces with SOPA in these areas, Gorilla is thrilled about the combined marketing capabilities we will now collectively bring to our partners and customers. Through Gorilla’s cutting-edge technology, we at SEA are looking forward to helping customers become the next generation of customers.” The generation wants to prepare for an unprecedented experience and enable a new meta-economy for their users.
Furthermore, Gorilla’s ambitions go beyond adding more customers to the region. They are building themselves to be a global Metaverse connectivity operator, which means they aim to bring traditional telecommunications companies into the Metaverse through their established Web3 ecosystem.
Moving the Telco Ecosystem to Web3
Gorilla Networks has already proven its concept in its Web3 telecommunications capabilities with GSIM, which acts as an eSIM preloaded with roaming mobile data.
Image credit: Gorilla Network
Their upcoming offering, the GLVT NFT, will act as Gorilla’s subscription NFT and offer a Web3 offering for those still on the Web2 network.
Gorilla Networks also plans to offer GMobile NFT, as well as SIM, mobile data plans, and NFTs. These will serve as Gorilla’s on-chain connectivity objects to give owners access to mobile data across the globe. Users will be able to top-up their mobile data to ZeeMobile NFT, transfer NFTs to other wallets and re-issu new SIMs as and when required.
Telecom companies have always been centralized, walled gardens where users do not have uninterrupted access to essential telecommunications services around the world.
Users generally do not equate possession of SIM, phone numbers, talktime, SMS, mobile data and other network services with actual ownership in the sense of freedom of trade or transfer.
–Zane Leo, founder and CEO of Gorilla Networks
As such, Gorilla Networks aims to innovate and improve upon what consumers typically think of when they consider telecommuting. She wants to allow them to appreciate that they really own their phone numbers, and makes it a point that SIM and NFT are really just an extension of their identity.
Additionally, Gorilla Networks is also conscious of the privacy needs of its customers when entering the NFT space, and plans to operate Web3-native on-chain verification vouches with an off-chain trusted verification bridge. This will enable customers to verify their on-chain identity while keeping it private to other users.
While Gorilla Networks has already made a mark in Singapore with its innovative approach to mobile data plans, it looks like the company isn’t ready to maintain its position just yet.
Gorilla Networks has leveraged its reputation and technology, and can now aspire to become something bigger than a local telco as it brings NFTs and Metaverse to general customers not only in Singapore, but across the region.
Featured image credit: Gorilla Networks