Xurpas creates first PH celebrity games firm Xeleb

Visual from Xurpas website

Listed tech startup Xurpas Inc formally launched on Wednesday its new subsidiary Xeleb Inc, the first celebrity games company in the Philippines.

Xeleb has been established by Xurpas “from the ground up”  and is the the seventh company that it has invested in since its listing eight months ago.

Xurpas CEO Nix Nolledo said they have 67 per cent shareholdings in Xeleb, which was incorporated with a paid-in capital of over $442,000 (P20 million), of which P5 million is subscribed and paid-up.

Also read: Xurpas acquires 70% of Seer Technologies

Other shareholders of the new mobile games company include local celebrities Anne Curtis-Smith (14 per cent), Isabelle Daza (8 per cent), Kim Atienza (8 per cent), and Erwan Jean Heussaff (3 per cent).

Xeleb will constantly build a growing portfolio of games based on the celebrity shareholders’ distinct brands. The celebrity shareholders will also help Xeleb expand its network of stars, with the end goal of owning the celebrity games space.

Also read: PH based Xurpas invests $1m in US tech startup Quick.ly

“This will be a long-term venture for us. Our celebrity partners in the business, the content that we will build won’t necessarily stop with them. This is really a franchise that we plan to scale beyond the existing portfolio of content that we have,” Nolledo said.

Xurpas chief operating officer Raymond Racaza said Xeleb’s creation is inspired by the popular Hollywood mobile game Kim Kardashian, whose record-setting success created an entirely new genre in casual games, which is the celebrity-branded game.

Also read: PH co Xurpas acquires Altitude Games for $740k

Launched in 2014, Kardashian has been downloaded over 28 million times and played for over 11 billion minutes. Its success created a tentpole property for its studio, with various Kardashian-branded games now along the way.

“We view Anne, Isabelle, Kim and Erwan as tentpole properties. We’ll build a constantly growing portfolio of games based on their celebrity brand,” Racaza said.

Also read: PH startup Xurpas acquires second tech firm Storm Flex Sys for $4.3m

Nolledo, meanwhile, noted that Xurpas is quite optimistic Xeleb will achieve a similar take up of Kardashian.

“Time and data will tell if our instincts are correct. But we’re quite confident that [Xeleb] will be a substantial contributor to our business,” Nolledo said.

Also read: Xurpas invests $1.4m for 31.5% stake in Singapore’s MatchMe

After raising $30.4 million (P1.37 billion) in its public listing in December of 2014, Xurpas has committed a total of P395 million for new investments, leaving it with P895 million to spend on further expansion.

Xurpas, in the first quarter of 2015, grew its revenues by 52 per cent to to P132.23 million from P86.76 million the previous year.

The company’s revenue growth was attributed to the strong growth across its core mobile consumer and mobile enterprise businesses.

Xurpas’ last trading price decreased 1.99 per cent or P0.240 to close at P11.80.

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