Loyyal spreads its wings after clinching Emirates deal
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Special Report: Loyyal CEO Gregory Simon has revealed the Company will now go after commercial opportunities in fast growing sectors like retail, health and financial services after securing a three year deal with the world’s largest international airline this week.
It’s been a week of good news for investors in ASX-listed technology company Reffind (ASX:RFN) looking for an update on the company’s underlying holdings.
The company’s strategic investment in enterprise software and blockchain company Loyyal hit a new high this week after landing a three-year commercial production agreement with leading airline carrier Emirates. Loyyal, who is in its sixth year of operations, has had a busy period of activity that saw it complete a Series A-4 funding round towards the end of last year with four leading global investors, including Japanese behemoths Recruit Holdings and LINE Corporation, as well as Dubai-based Hayaat Group.
Both Recruit and LINE are expected to play a pivotal role in helping Loyyal capitalise on its growing momentum in the Japanese market as it targets further opportunities for market growth and expansion.
Having raised almost $9 million to date, Loyyal is now bracing to hit some more major milestones in the months ahead.
Speaking to Stockhead, Loyyal CEO Gregory Simon spoke of his ambitions for growth, saying despite the traction it has had, the company was still significantly undervalued.
He said Loyyal would not be resting on its laurels, instead setting up aggressive growth targets as it gears up for an exciting year ahead.
“We’re really excited that we’ve just gotten our first customer on board, Emirates, and we’re going to be migrating partners over this year. Over the five years or so we’ve been in business, we’ve managed to develop a rapport with all of the major airlines, most of the major hotels and the major banks. They know about us, they know our value proposition and they get it [blockchain technology],” he told Stockhead.
“More and more industries understand they will be broadly transitioning towards blockchain technology so we’re seeing a huge acceleration of interest coming into us from all those relationships and prospects from the sales pipeline we’ve developed, and it is out of control.”
The road wasn’t an easy one for Loyyal, Simon noted, particularly in an emerging category like blockchain technology where few use cases existed to demonstrate the full disruptive potential of the technology as applied to a nascent sector like loyalty and rewards programs.
“It’s been a long difficult process for us to invent something that solves an existing market problem where there wasn’t a pre-existing competitor for us to compare ourselves to,” Simon said.
“Historically, it’s called the Blue Ocean strategy amongst the entrepreneur community. That means there’s an entire industry that is basically saying there’s no growth because there’s a bottleneck prohibiting growth.”
“We’ve now introduced a new technology that dramatically enables the ability [of customers] to [access that] growth so logically the entire industry should adopt it.”
Blockchain adoption across Asia Pacific has been on the rise, with figures from IDC last year indicating a growing trend that was underlined by a total of USD $522.7 million spent on blockchain solution in 2019 – an increase of 81% on the previous year.
IDC expects blockchain spending in Asia Pacific to grow “rapidly” with a compound annual growth rate of 59.8% (totalling USD $3 billion) over the 2018-23 forecast period – promising signs for enterprise software platforms like Loyyal that are well-placed to capitalise on these opportunities.
With Loyyal’s Emirates agreement now reaching production phase, Simon believes this is just the beginning of what Loyyal can achieve.
“Blockchain is such a revolutionary invention and the loyalty industry is the perfect application for it. Our team have worked very hard for five years to get a product that is viable on the market, that is accepted and proven to add value to the market,” he told Stockhead.
“This is going to be an excellent year for us to show the growth [achieved by Loyyal] and get the public excited about what we’ve built.”