Xurpas unit plans $100-M coin offering

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A UNIT of Xurpas, Inc. will be raising $100 million through a coin offering to fund its project that seeks to provide free Internet access to consumers in select markets.

In a statement issued Wednesday, the listed technology firm said its Singapore unit ODX Pte. Ltd. looks to sell ODX tokens. ODX, which stands for Open Data Exchange, wants to provide free Internet access to consumers in emerging markets through sponsored data packages.

The company said it already has more than $50 million in initial downpayments for the share sale. The tokens will not be sold to citizens or residents of the Philippines, United States, or China.

Proceeds of the coin offering will be used to finance ODX’s infrastructure, its business development with Internet service providers, publishers, and other partners.

“We have always kept an eye out for disruptive, game changing technologies. Two decades ago, the mobile Internet was an example of this, and today it is blockchain,” Xurpas Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Nico Jose S. Nolledo said in a statement.

Xurpas said ODX will be the first of many blockchain projects it will be launching this year.

“We have been studying the technology and believe that our existing businesses will benefit significantly from the scalability, efficiency and security of the blockchain, while making it possible to introduce new business models that would not have been possible otherwise,” Mr. Nolledo said.

Xurpas swung to a net loss of P77.93 million in the first quarter of 2018, against a profit of P103.24 million in the same period last year. The company attributed this to a 56% drop in revenues to P327.03 million during the period.

The firm cited the challenging market conditions in the mobile consumer segment, such as new policies on Value-Added Services from one of its telco partners, which led to a slower performance.

Weakness in the 2017 performance of its advertising business, Art of Click (AOC), also spilled over to this quarter. Xurpas said it has already implemented measures to improve AOC’s client mix, but this has yet to be felt in the January to March period.

On the other hand, revenues from the company’s enterprise and HR technology segments grew by 11% and 164%, respectively, due to a more diversified client mix. — Arra B. Francia