Vietnam’s largest smart vending machine operator Dropfoods plans to raise US$9 mil through Initial Coin Offering (ICO)

ICO Kicks Off September 21st - Plans to expand its smart vending machine footprint across Southeast Asia

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Dropfoods, the largest smart vending machine operator in Vietnam, has announced the launch of an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) scheduled for September 21, 2017 to raise US$9 million with the issuance of its own Dropcoins tokens. With the proceeds from its ICO, Dropfoods will install 1,000 new machines that will enable smart transactions using Dropcoins.

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The ICO issued by Dropfoods will be the first of its kind that is supporting an existing operational business outside of the Blockchain space, with a solid business plan to utilize the fundraising proceeds from the ICO. Dropfoods currently operates in more than 40 locations in Vietnam, supporting automated retail operations for fast-moving consumer products.

The key value proposition of Dropfoods lies in the scalability of its business model and plug-and-play infrastructure combining its physical assets (vending machines) and digital assets (mobile application) to install a payment gateway that can advance financial inclusion in a region where more people hold smart phones than bank accounts.

Backed by one of Southeast Asia’s largest venture builders with key stakeholders from Japan, South Africa and Singapore, Sugar Ventures, Dropfoods aims to build the region’s largest network of physical touch points for cross-border transactions and digital remittance. Dropcoins may be converted into government-issued fiat currency for cash withdrawal at the Dropfoods vending machine or to make purchases on the vending machines and on the Dropfoods App. This conversion will be set according to the aftermarket coin value exchange rate.

Sugar Ventures, one of Southeast Asia’s largest specialized venture builders, is focused on nurturing greenfield ideas that will transform the region’s emerging economies. Unlike traditional accelerators or incubators, Sugar Ventures seeks to unearth great start-ups from the ideation stage, provide seed funding, support their organic growth and work towards a flourishing exit in the process.

Dr Mark Hon, Co-founder of Dropfoods and Sugar Ventures, commented:

“We are excited by the prospects of launching a token that can be a game-changer for the state of play for the financial inclusion of the region’s emerging marketplace. To enable cross-border transactions and digital remittance at close to zero transaction costs will make full use of the digital opportunity presented by the region’s relatively high mobile penetration and enable the underbanked to be included in the formation of a cashless society.”

John Fearon, Co-founder of Dropfoods and Sugar Ventures, commented:

“Dropcoins will revolutionize the region’s digital marketplace and is a true example of financial technology that applies emerging technologies such as Blockchain and artificial intelligence to transform the current financial landscape, clearly distinguished from the realm of ‘techfin’ where you would be just applying technology to enhance existing financial capabilities.”

Sugar Ventures is founded by Dr Mark Hon, serial entrepreneur and Chairman of the Business Angel Network South East Asia (BANSEA); and John Fearon, Founder of and ASX-listed cloud-based software platform Dropsuite (DSE:ASX). Dropfoods’ investors include Shuhei Morofuji, CEO and founder CEO of venture capital firm and venture builder REAPRA and TSE-listed SMS Co Ltd, one of the largest Asian internet healthcare information platforms; and Chiang Joon-Arn, Managing Partner, Financial Accounting Advisory Services – Asia Pacific – ‎Ernst & Young.

Vietnam has approved a plan to scrutinize and streamline the legal framework for the management of cryptocurrencies.

This ICO is only open to accredited investors. “Accredited investors” refer to persons who are defined within the meaning provided under the laws of the country or territory of such person.

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About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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