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News - October 22, 2021

Gorilla Mobile offers Shopee, Grab vouchers for unused data

Gorilla Mobile, a Singapore-based telecom startup, has partnered with Shopee, Grab, Shell, Cold Storage, and Esso to help users convert unused mobile data into e-vouchers.

The partnership will provide consumers using the Gorilla Switch25 and Gorilla Switch45 mobile plans with the option to convert unused mobile data to Gorilla Go tokens through the company’s SwitchBack feature, which is powered by blockchain technology. These tokens can then be used to avail of e-vouchers from the partner companies.

Gorilla Mobile’s Switch25 and Switch45 plans are priced at US$25 and US$45 per month, respectively.

The company has also rolled out a campaign that offers new users e-vouchers upon porting their existing number or signing up for a new number. Switch25 and Switch45 users will receive a bonus of e-vouchers worth US$25 and US$45, respectively.

Apart from e-vouchers, Go tokens can be used to offset mobile bills and purchase or exchange other in-app services such as travel roaming or international direct dialing plans. Users can also share unused mobile data with their friends and family, as well as with people who have a different telecom carrier.

However, several industry experts Tech in Asia spoke to in an earlier report questioned whether the company’s use of blockchain was really needed and even pointed out that its execution might be tricky.

The company is a mobile virtual network operator, which refers to a telecom provider that doesn’t own the infrastructure for its services. Gorilla has joined a highly competitive market in Singapore with a dozen players and a mobile penetration rate of 150%.

Gorilla also postponed the rollout of its full services to the second quarter of 2022 from the planned timeline of September, due to “licensing delays from regulators.”

This comes amid questions surrounding Gorilla Mobile founder and CEO Xanne Leo’s previous involvement with another blockchain firm, Infinitus Token, which became inactive in 2020 and faced allegations from an investor who claimed to have lost money after backing the project. There were also calls for investigation against Infinitus’ blockchain tech advisor, Ronald Aai, from investors in Taipei over an alleged blockchain scam.