May 08, 2023
Sumitomo Corporation

Investment in DABCO, UK-based Digital platform provider for connected devices
-Second-round collaboration with the Vodafone Group aimed for a “new economy” environment-

Sumitomo Corporation (Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director, President and Chief Executive Officer: Masayuki Hyodo; “Sumitomo”) will invest in DABCO Limited (Head Office: London; CEO: Jorge Bento; “DABCO”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Vodafone Group Plc (“Vodafone”), a leading British telecommunications company (※1). DABCO provides a digital platform that enables autonomous identification and communication between connected devices that can automatically process payments and other sorts of transactions using SIM cards under the name of Digital Asset Broker. 

Since November 2020, Sumitomo and Vodafone have together been exploring the possibility of collaborating in various industries, with a principal focus on IT and digital services. In November 2022, we entered into a previous transaction with Vodafone in Ethiopia, providing telecommunications network services through Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia PLC, the related joint venture, in the capital city of Addis Ababa and other cities. 

The recent agreement for Sumitomo to invest in DABCO represents a second project with Vodafone. By promoting global development of the Digital Asset Broker platform service for the ever-more efficient and optimum connectivity of IoT devices, we are looking to create a “new economy” environment enabled by autonomous communication between all sorts of connected devices.

Digital Asset Broker is a digital platform configured to enable devices connected by different networks to communicate with each other safely by assigning an ID to the SIM card inserted in each device. At present, this technology is offered by Digital Asset Broker, which has been made possible with patented technologies developed by Vodafone for SIM card processing as well as blockchain technologies. In the mobility field, for instance, owing to the system configured by assigning an ID to a (network agnostic) SIM card inserted in a vehicle, the user can automatically make payments for purchases of goods and services. This means that the vehicle itself functions to autonomously pay for charges for EV charging and other services, according to the setup conditions. By adopting this system, automakers can improve the UX(※2) of their products, one key to increasing customer satisfaction over the long term.

To promote the business, we are drawing up a phased expansion plan by considering possible use cases by sector and location. We will start by focusing on the mobility sector in the UK and Germany,and then other European countries and North America at a later date as well as expansion into various industries in future.Our possible plans also extend to forming a partnership with Sumitomo Corporation Group company SCSK Corporation in order to develop an Asian market including Japan, and a long-term vision of entering the smart city business. Based on this plan, we will endeavor to expand the market for this new Digital platform, wishing to support many people’s lives.

Sumitomo Corporation is focusing on shifting its business portfolio through business transformation based on DX (Digital Transformation) in its mid-term management plan "SHIFT 2023". In building use cases for the Digital Asset Broker, we will use our accumulated DX Knowledge and support global development, aiming to create new businesses that will help realize a smart society.

Going forward, Sumitomo and Vodafone will move further forward to consider new projects mainly for Europe and Africa, bringing together appropriate business resources and expertise from each, and supporting the development of the local society and economy while addressing various social challenges. 

(※1)The transaction is conditional on receiving antitrust clearances and will proceed once those have been secured.
(※2)*UX stands for “user experience,” referring to experiences related to the way a user interacts with a product and service.

■About DABCO


London, UK


Develops and provides platform service Digital Asset Broker, which enables autonomous identification and communication between connected devices to automatically process payments and other sorts of transactions. For more information on Digital Asset Broker, please visit

80% by Vodafone; 20% by Sumitomo

■ Video showing an EV equipped with Digital Asset Broker making automatic payment for charging charges

■About Vodafone


London, UK
Number of employees 


104,866 (on a consolidated basis; as of July 2022)
Business  Europe’s largest comprehensive telecommunications services provider, operating mobile and fixed-line communications services as well as cable television networks in 22 countries in Europe and Africa. As of July 31, 2022, the subscribership by service category approximates 300 million-plus for mobile phones; 28 million for fixed-line broadband; and 22 million for cable television. The number of connected devices total 150 million. Under the slogan of “connecting for a better future,” the company is committed to the digital-driven development of society through its business activities, in pursuit of simultaneous socioeconomic development and environmental conservation.

Sumitomo Corporation’s Material Issues

Sumitomo Corporation Group positions “Six Material Issues to Achieve Sustainable Growth with Society” as an important factor in developing business strategies and in the decision-making process for individual businesses. Going forward, we will pursue sustainable growth by resolving these issues through our business activities. This project especially contributes to the following material Issues.

Achieving Harmony with the Global EnvironmentAchieving Harmony with the Global Environment
Contributing to the Development of Local Communities and IndustriesContributing to the Development of Local Communities and Industries
Establishing a Foundation for Comfortable and Enriching LifestylesEstablishing a Foundation for Comfortable and Enriching Lifestyles
Providing Diverse “Accessibility”Providing Diverse “Accessibility”

Developing Human Resources and Promoting DiversityDeveloping Human Resources and Promoting Diversity
Enhancing GovernanceEnhancing Governance

Corporate Communications Department, Sumitomo Corporation
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