Michael Waitze had a much-needed catch-up conversation with the CEO and Founder of Playbasis, Robert Zepeda. The last time we spoke with Rob was more than a year and a half ago and a lot has changed since then. One of the interesting things that Rob noted was that no two years are the same. This means that last year’s revenues and growth may bear little resemblance to next year…and extrapolating forward is always hard to do.
Rob founded Playbasis at the end of 2012 and back then it was a uniquely B2C business. Back then, as well, the whole concept of gamification was essentially unknown in Southeast Asia. I went back to one of Playbasis’ old pitch deck’s and found this, PlayBasis was a “gamification company that endeavored to ‘help large companies increase user engagement, retention and loyalty through data-driven game mechanics and behavioral triggers." I asked him about this and his answer was insightful and filled with useful details, including connecting brands to gamers through meaningful rewards and turbo-charging the platform as a Games as a Service offering.
Rob believes that business models must always be evolving. While the core of the company is still gamification, his recent experience as a cohort in Plug and Play’s Batch 5 in Jakarta, Indonesia was eye-opening. He was invited to participate because some of the Indonesian corporates were interested in learning more about Playbasis and potentially using gamification for employee engagement as well. The entire experience, even for a guy that has been running his own company for more than six years, was more than worth it. There was so much to unpack from this conversation about the Indonesian tech landscape, how corporates interact with startups there and the speed with which digitalization is occurring.