ZujuGP — the digital football platform owned by Singapore billionaire Peter Lim — announced today (April 13) that it has acquired the team behind TOKIGAMES.
TOKIGAMES is a gaming solutions startup that enables sporting brands to engage audiences, and turn passive online fans into active platform participants.
Following the acquisition, zujuGP will also hire the talents in the company, including founders Mervyn Lau, Benedict Goh, Matthews Chang and Warren Goh, as well as 10 other employees.
Lau in particular, has assumed the role of the CEO of zujuDigital — the new arm of zujuGP — since April 1.
ZujuDigital aims to “gamify” the all-football platform with activities and experiences to increase fan engagement, and provide them with more interactive ways to consume football content.
“Our mission at zujuDigital remains the same [as TOKIGAMES] with two key differences: we will now be focused solely on football, and we will have a lot more resources to create, innovate, and expand,” said Lau.
“Simply put, we want to be the leader in football fandom, to create an ecosystem that is synonymous with the passion and emotion of being a fan – to enable fans to access football content, connect with one another, and to feel empowered to express themselves. It’s time for us to get serious about fan engagement in football and that’s precisely what we’re going to do.”
Enhancing gamification capabilities and digital experiences
This “acqui-hire” will position zujuGP to develop and deliver digital experiences and activities to football fans around the world on the zujuDigital platform, as well as connect fans and aspiring players to the business side of football.
The team will also expand zujuGP’s gamification capabilities, using game-style incentives to reward participants for achievements such as ‘levelling-up’, leaderboard accomplishments, and earning badges.
In particular, the new zujuDigital team has a track record in innovating and developing proprietary live fantasy sports games, which when integrated with a live match stream, allow participants to play and compete in a live fantasy football contest during the live match.
Participants leverage their knowledge of their favourite teams and players, combined with their assessment of live strategies and performances in-play, to buy and sell virtual football players with the objective of scoring points and earning rewards based on the micro-events that occur during the live match, and their fantasy team’s performance.
The team had previously raised US$4.25 million in seed funding to develop and launch proprietary technology that had enabled them to offer customised fan experiences to clients such as ONE Esports and AFTV.
“The tech expertise and understanding of augmented user experiences that the team brings is complementary to the vision of zujuGP. Together, we want to turn fans into players because we believe a new generation of fans want spectator sports to be interactive, engaging and participatory,” said Kiat Lim, co-founder of zujuGP.
Launched in October last year, zujuGP aims to connect the world’s four billion football fans, creating a global community that will be able to watch live matches virtually, buy merchandise, play online games, and participate in immersive activities and experiences including engaging players, commentators and other service providers.
It also plans to make it easier for club owners, agents and scouts to discover and develop talented players.
Featured Image Credit: zujuGP