Vietnamese Startup Raises Millions from Japanese Giant to Create Advertising Network of 40 Million Users in Vietnam

AWING is a technology startup founded in 2017 in Vietnam, specializing in developing an advertising distribution platform for brands to reach users on free Wi-Fi login screens.


On March 15, 2024, NTT e-Asia Pte. Ltd., a subsidiary of NTT East (Nippon Telegraph and Telephone East Corporation), signed a strategic investment partnership with AWING Telecommunications Technology Joint Stock Company (Vietnam).

NTT e-Asia is a global telecommunications and information technology company, ranked fourth in the world and a leader in Japan. One of NTT e-Asia’s strategies in Southeast Asia is to collaborate and invest in promising businesses to create sustainable value in the region, focusing on three main areas: telecommunications/ICT infrastructure in smart cities, digital transformation, and software development.

In particular, in the field of digital transformation, in addition to potential digital advertising, NTT has extensive experience in implementing a high-tech closed-loop aquaculture model in Japan.

AWING is a technology startup founded in Vietnam in 2017, developing an advertising distribution platform for brands to reach users on free Wi-Fi login screens. The startup has creatively applied a sharing economy model to create a large-scale media channel that meets high demand for location-based marketing. Mr. Nguyen Tien Dung, Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of the company, evaluates this as an innovative model with no precedent to generate revenue for free public Internet services.

Mr. Nguyen Tien Dung, CEO of AWING

AWING has created a large-scale ecosystem that helps rapidly develop high-quality Internet in public places, benefiting users. It includes Wi-Fi technology companies (HP Aruba, Extreme, Cisco, …), network operators (VNPT, FPT, …), and advertising sponsors.

The idea for AWING’s operating model arose from the founder’s recognition that in Vietnam, Free Wi-Fi is a “Must Have Service” in most business and public service locations. This is a very special point, making Vietnam a unique country in terms of Free Wi-Fi.

At the same time, this is a very large resource that is almost being overlooked. They researched and produced a solution to bring benefits to all parties. Customers can use high-quality Wi-Fi for free, Wi-Fi infrastructure (such as Highlands Coffee, Trung Nguyen Legend, Vincom…) with an additional owned channel to support internal marketing activities, and additional shared revenue from advertising campaigns to reinvest in upgrading their equipment. Entities and brands that need brand advertising can reach millions of customers at real-world consumer locations nationwide.

AWING has successfully combined the strengths of online and offline, targeting the main consumer motivation for society when outside (Digital OOH – Out Of Home), classifying advertising targets by location (Location-Based Marketing) and allowing businesses to choose from various forms such as Booking TVC, Bumper Ads, TVC, interactive advertising, opinion surveys, voucher distribution, on a single channel.

Mr. Ebihara Takashi, representing NTT, said that the group had invested tens of millions of dollars in AWING based on evaluations of the business model, technological platform, optimal management efficiency, and people, with less than 40 employees needed to operate this model in Vietnam and achieved nearly 40 million users. This will be an ideal condition for expanding to many other countries in the world.

According to CEO Nguyen Tien Dung, at the present time, it can be said that very few countries in Southeast Asia have experimented with and succeeded with this business model. With the rapid growth in Vietnam, AWING has planned to enter foreign markets, starting with Southeast Asia.

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