MANILA, Philippines – Listed consumer technology firm Xurpas Incorporated (PSE:X) has partnered with Philippine celebrities to launch Xeleb Incorporated, a new mobile game company focused on celebrities.
Xeleb’s celebrity shareholders include Anne Curtis, Isabelle Daza, Kim Atienza, and Erwan Heussaff. It was incorporated with a paid-in capital of P20 million ($442,135).
Xurpas holds 67% of the company with the remaining 33% split among the 4 celebrity partners.
“We’re excited about this because we’re not just transforming an industry, we’re defining it,” said Raymond Racaza, Xurpas chief operating officer.
The new firm will launch a line of mobile games built around the personalities of each celebrity, starting Anne Galing, inspired by Curtis.
“We were inspired by the runaway success of Kim Kardashian: Hollywood,” Racaza said at the launch of Xeleb held Wednesday, July 15.
The record-setting success of Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, a mobile game, created an entirely new genre in casual games – the celebrity-branded game.
Launched in 2014, the game has been downloaded over 28 million times and played for over 11 billion minutes.
Anne Galing, which is available on Google Play, follows in its footsteps as the first Philippine celebrity-based game.
Developed with Curtis, Anne Galing is a match-3 game similar to “Bejeweled” that allows players to shop for digital clothes, build a wardrobe, and personalize Curtis’ in-game outfits.
Owning the celebrity space
The success of the first Kardashian game created a franchise opportunity for its studio, with various Kardashian-branded games planned to capitalize on her fame.
Similarly, Anne Galing is the first of many Curtis-branded games for Xeleb.
“We view Anne, Isabelle, Kim, and Erwan as tent pole properties. We’ll build a constantly growing portfolio of games based on their celebrity brand,” Racaza said.
A cooking-themed Erwan Heussaf game, adventure-themed Kim Atienza game, and a fashion-based Isabelle Daza are expected to follow later this year.
Racaza added that the 4 celebrity shareholders will also help Xeleb expand its network of stars. “Xeleb will own the celebrity games space,” he said.
Racaza said the games were developed for the Android platform as the majority of games’ target market are Android users but the firm plans to make them available for iPhone users in the future.
Xeleb is the first investment developed by Xurpas from the ground up.
Since its listing in December 2014, Xurpas has made 7 investments either by acquiring outright or buying stakes in existing companies.
It has committed a total of P395 million ($8.73 million) for new investments, leaving it with P895 million to spend on further expansion.
In the first quarter of 2015, Xurpas revenues grew by 52% to P132.23 million ($2.92 million) from P86.76 million ($1.91 million) the previous year, bolstered by strong growth across its core mobile consumer and mobile enterprise businesses.
In June, it paid a dividend of P0.04 per share to all outstanding shareholders as of May 2015. – Rappler.com
$1 = P 45.26