P.S. Happy April Fool’s Day. We had fun with this one, going as far to Techcrunch. This makes us think seriously about Sushitize.. hmmmmm
Popular sushi chain in Singapore and Jakarta to become world’s first F&B company to acquire a technology startup, in a bold move to venture into gamification and mobile development. Gametize’s CEO will lead Standing Sushi Bar’s technology group while undergoing kitchen training. The company will also introduce a brand new concept bar, Sushitize, where anything from chicken rice to chilli crab, can be ‘sushitized’ to become a sushi.
SINGAPORE, 1st April 2013 – After months of stealth discussions and negotiations, Gametize has accepted Standing Sushi Bar’s acquitision terms in an undisclosed eight digits deal. The agreement underlines Standing Sushi Bar’s ambitions to diversify beyond food offerings towards the media technology and gamification industry. Gamification, the concept of infusing gaming psychology towards engagement with the target audience, is a fast growing industry estimated by M2 Research to reach USD$2.8 billion in 2016. GameMaki, Gametize’s cloud-based gamification platform, will continue to serve existing and new clients.
The acquisition will see Gametize’s former CEO Keith Ng as Standing Sushi Bar’s technology group head (Singapore), while CTO Damon Widjaja will manage the group’s Indonesian technology office. Both founders are set to undergo formal training as sushi chefs in a strategic measure to cross train and induct the management team. Jesslyn Teo and Brenda Nicole Tan, the other half of the founding team, will manage Sushitize, a new concept bar to introduce specialty sushi menus inspired by well-known dishes such as Chicken rice, Red chilli crab, and Confit de canard. Sushitize will introduce daily challenges such as ‘best photo challenges’ and quizzes for consumers to win rewards and discounts.
Sushitize’s latest Chicken Rice Sushi creation
Howard Lo, CEO of Standing Sushi Bar and ex regional manager in Microsoft, remarks,
“Food rewards our customers the same way games activate the dopamine rush in the reward center of the brain. We are thrilled with our new family members and branching into the technology space, a familiar place for me. We strongly believe in the potentials of gamification and how Gametize’s technology and team can also enhance our food business and consumer engagements in Standing Sushi Bar, Tanuki, and Sushitize. I see sticky synergy in the branding of GameMaki, Gametize’s flagship product.”
“It is not always easy to find passionate and talented chefs like Keith and Damon, who might slip in a couple of badges into the sushis occasionally to delight their customers. We needed to expand aggressively and sushi chefs are the kingpins of our business”
Keith Ng adds,
“This is a wonderful opportunity to fulfil the team’s vision of turning life into a playground for everyone. I spent some good years in the F&B industry and it has always been a dream for me to return to it. I am looking forward to accepting the challenge of being a sushi chef over the weekends for Howard’s amazing outlets, which will be gamified gradually, and hopefully become the world’s most engaging and fun sushi chain.”
“Our enterprise clients in Singapore and Indonesia can now too tap onto our food discount and deals to reward their employees with sake and california maki”