Joint Development Agreement Paves Way for Plutos Sama Holdings, Inc. and PlayAPI, Inc. to Bring Meals and eRewards to Gamers from Vapiano Restaurant Locations Worldwide
Plutos Sama Holdings, Inc. (“Plutos”) is proud to announce that as of January 3rd, 2019, Vapiano SE has signed an agreement to sell Vapiano Holdings USA, LLC to Plutos. In connection with the sale, Plutos has entered into certain development agreements to open 75 franchise restaurants in the United States while adding unique first-in-class services related to eSports and gaming generally to all locations.
Plutos has entered into a Joint Development Agreement with PlayAPI, Inc. (“PlayAPI”) where PlayAPI will develop an Application Program Interface (“API”) within its gaming systems to allow gamers to order food from the gaming environment. In other words, if a gamer gets hungry while engaging in a quest online, gamers can stop their character, order a meal for delivery within the game environment and resume their trek without leaving the world created by the independent publisher.
Gamers Drive Multiple Revenue Streams
Cross-selling is becoming more important to a company’s bottom line as antiquated agency models are being replaced with dynamic direct-to-consumer interactions driven by more accurate, real-time consumer data. For example, companies have recently started expanding direct-to-consumer channels through robust digital offerings related to gaming to sell their own products or services instead of relying on obtaining exclusivity contracts with developers or publishers to promote those offerings.
To illustrate, over 10 years ago, product placement in video games were all the craze. It created a new agency model. Gamers would stroll through Bright Falls in the popular game Alan Wake and see Verizon ads on in-game billboards. Today, companies like Discord or Twitch offer gamers the ability to do more with their gaming experience by providing services for online chats, the ability to gain followers, generate unique user videos and connect with social media accounts, all while allowing the gamer to continue interacting with their digital environment unimpeded. By providing these services, these companies obtain real-time metrics on the behavior of their users, effectively enabling them to deliver tailored promotions with higher conversion rates because the data is more accurate and relevant.
Plutos and PlayAPI’s new interface is poised to capitalize on this direct-to-consumer channel by rewarding gamers with in-game content while offering gamers physical services such as meal delivery and good food.
In return, Plutos and PlayAPI will pioneer and connect multiple revenue streams on the most popular platform on the planet because gaming is now the world’s favorite form of entertainment. The gaming industry generated more revenue in 2017 than television, movies and music and is expected to increase at an annual rate of 10.7% to 14% per year.
eRewards and a New Meaning to In-App-Purchases
Microtransactions have permeated almost every aspect of gaming to subsidize developer and publisher costs while consumers bear the brunt of paying more for in-game content. However, that business model has suffered numerous blowbacks lately ranging from legislation following loot box controversies to outright consumer revolt resulting from paywalls requiring gamers to play for over 40 hours just to access their favorite character in an online multi-player match.
Through PlayAPI’s new GrubHub-like interface, instead of paying for digital content outright, gamers will receive eRewards for using the food ordering service in the form of special or upgraded in-game content. Strictly speaking, order some spaghetti and you might receive that new limited edition digital skin for your favorite tank.
“We are thrilled to have partnered with PlayAPI to build a GrubHub-like interface for the hundreds of stores worldwide,” said Matthew C. Browndorf, Chief Executive Officer of Pluto Sama Holdings, Inc. “PlayAPI’s platform is so powerful that we believe it to be a direct threat to the monopoly of services like GrubHub and history has shown that the pioneers of disruptive, innovative business models thrive. We aim to capitalize on the intersection of good food, good delivery service and good gaming experiences.”
“We are excited to be involved with a fast-growing influential company like Plutos and even more excited to develop an API that will create a special way for gamers to interact with their digital environment to order food and earn exclusive rewards,” said Ted Owen, Chief Executive Officer of PlayAPI, Inc. “Gaming is in our DNA. It’s a lifestyle. Just like choosing what and where to eat is a lifestyle. Ordering good food through your favorite interactive gaming environment and having it delivered to you should be an ultimate and harmonious expression of those lifestyles. We could have done this with anybody, but we chose Vapiano and Plutos because they understand the importance of interactive expression.”
“Our goal has always been to provide quality Italian cuisine in a frictionless atmosphere to our guests, who control their own experience. What Plutos and PlayAPI are developing will augment Vapiano USA’s vision of allowing guests to control that experience by extending it to our off-site patrons using a blend of modern technology and innovative interfaces,” said Carlos Politano, Chief Executive Officer of Vapiano USA. “We see huge potential and a positive outlook for the year ahead.”
Mr. Owen’s background in digital recreation is extensive. After graduating from Duke University, he started an investment banking company named Owen, Diaz and Altschul based in NYC, which focused on investing in early stage gaming companies such as Spectrum Holobyte and 3-DO as well as numerous other successful gaming companies. He was the first mover in the multi-billion-dollar industry of eSports through one of his first groundbreaking companies, Global Gaming League, launched in 1999. Known as the “Father of eSports” his bringing video gaming as an exhibition sport to the Beijing Olympics paved the way for video gaming to become a medal sport in the 2020 Olympic games. Finally, Mr. Owen was named a top 20 entrepreneur by Stuff Magazine and included in Maxim Magazine's list of 10 individuals changing the world in digital media.
PlayAPI is an innovative technology company focused on aggregating data across all video gaming platforms and publishers to identify centers of influence, track social values to provide highly actionable insights and monetization opportunities while increasing player engagement and acquisition. The Company was founded by Ted Owen.
The Italian lifestyle brand Vapiano founded in 2002 an innovative "Fresh Casual Dining" concept that established a new category in system catering, combining elements of "fast casual" and "casual dining". The restaurant concept centers around quality, uncompromisingly fresh ingredients, and transparency. Pasta, pizza dough, sauces, dressings and dolci are all made fresh every day on site at each Vapiano. Food is prepared "à la minute" directly in front of the guests and "customized" to the guests' special requests. The cosmopolitan ambiance is also part of the success story. Vapiano stands for self-determination and individuality allowing each guest to choose between different guest journeys. Guests can order their food from the Vapianisti, at the terminal, or via the Vapiano app, and pay for it by chipcard or app. Alternatively, the company offers take-away and delivery services at a growing number of its restaurants, allowing guests to enjoy Vapiano anytime, anyplace, anywhere. From its origins in Hamburg/Germany, the Vapiano idea spread quickly to the world.
For further details, please go to www.vapiano.com.
Plutos Sama Holdings, Inc.
Plutos Sama Holdings, Inc. is a private equity company in the business of taking control positions in residential and commercial real estate ventures, micro-lending, securitizations, law firms, restaurants, mortgage servicing platforms, and eSports.
For more information, visit www.plutosholdings.com.
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 Longano, Nicholas, “PlayAPI Introduces Data Technology That Supports Turner Broadcasting’s Call to Retire Nielsen Ratings,” BusinessWire.com, last modified August 6, 2018, https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180806005203/en/PlayAPI%E2%84%A2-Introduces-Data-Technology-Supports-Turner-Broadcasting%E2%80%99s.
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