Japan-based SoftBank Corp entered into an exclusive distribution agreement with IoT services provider 1NCE covering the Asia-Pacific region, after taking an equity stake.

The operator will market 1NCE’s IoT services in 19 markets across Asia, while 1NCE will set up sales offices and technical operations in Singapore and Tokyo to expand its service capability. It has an existing facility in Hong Kong.

In a joint statement, Daichi Nozaki, head of SoftBank Corp’s Global Business Division, noted 1NCE can deliver “true cross-border, future-proof IoT connectivity”, which complements the operator’s existing IoT portfolio.

Alexander Sator, CEO of Germany-headquartered 1NCE, said with the operator’s support “we are supercharging the rollout” of its flat-rate IoT offering in the region. He claimed that with multiple mobile operators invested in 1NCE, “we have validation that we’re on the right track to become the global leader in IoT connectivity and software”.

In October 2021, 1NCE raised $50 million, with Deutsche Telekom, an early investor, taking an undisclosed equity stake and forging a strategic partnership with SoftBank Corp, which committed to acquiring a stake.

1NCE said it delivers IoT connectivity to more than 110 countries, with plans to expand the footprint to more than 140 by end-2022.