Glu Invests in QuizUp Developer Plain Vanilla Corp.

  • Companies aim to increase monetization of QuizUp through cross-promotion, advertising, and new television show
  • Glu has option to acquire the company at pre-agreed price

SAN FRANCISCO--()--Glu Mobile Inc. (NASDAQ:GLUU), a leading global developer and publisher of free-to-play games for smartphone and tablet devices, today announced that the company will invest up to $7.5 million in promissory notes convertible into a minority equity stake in Plain Vanilla Corp. Based in Reykjavik, Iceland, Plain Vanilla is the developer behind the globally popular game QuizUp, which boasts more than 40 million registered users and 5 billion games played. Launched in November 2013, QuizUp became at the time the fastest growing app on the App Store ever. Daily users spend on average more than 30 minutes per day on the app.

“In addition to cross-selling opportunities between Glu's games and QuizUp's user-generated interest groups, we are excited that Plain Vanilla is in development with NBC around what we expect will be an innovative new game show.”

Glu and Plain Vanilla plan to join efforts to focus on the development of the QuizUp television program. Under development in partnership with NBC Universal and previously announced at Cannes in October 2015, the companies hope to bring the QuizUp show to TV viewers worldwide. The program format will be centered around audience interaction and is expected to drive significant downloads of the QuizUp mobile app.

“With over 40 million registered users and counting, QuizUp is a global trivia phenomena that is developing into an interest-based social network. I look forward to joining QuizUp’s Board of Directors and sharing Glu’s deep expertise in advertising, in-app purchase optimization, analytics and user acquisition. Having focused thus far on building a large and engaged user base, QuizUp will now benefit from Glu’s involvement to begin driving effective and sustainable monetization,” said Niccolo de Masi, Glu Chairman and CEO.

“In addition to cross-selling opportunities between Glu's games and QuizUp's user-generated interest groups, we are excited that Plain Vanilla is in development with NBC around what we expect will be an innovative new game show.” de Masi continued, “If our partnership proves out and QuizUp revenues scale, Glu will evaluate whether to exercise its call option to acquire the business.”

“In 2015 alone, QuizUp became a trivia network focused on social interaction, opened its topic creator to its entire user base, and announced both NBC’s and ITV’s order of the primetime trivia show, QuizUp America,” said Thor Fridriksson, founder and CEO of Plain Vanilla. “We look forward to leveraging Glu’s publishing resources and expertise to expand QuizUp’s audience through new mobile and multimedia initiatives this year.”

QuizUp’s transformation from a mobile trivia app to an interest based social network positions it to benefit from growth in myriad industries and interest areas. The introduction of My QuizUp has extended the platform’s use cases to communities for classrooms, companies, sports teams, and the entertainment industry. Plain Vanilla is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions including Nordic Startup of the Year 2014, a TechCrunch “Crunchy” for Fastest Rising Startup 2014 and a “Webbie” for Best Mobile App of the Year 2014.

As part of this investment, Niccolo de Masi is joining the Board of QuizUp and Glu has a call option to acquire Plain Vanilla for 15 months from the closing of the initial investment at a pre-agreed price. The companies intend to partner in monetization of QuizUp’s sizable and diversified global audience of daily active users through cross-promotion, increased in-game advertising and new game features.

Download QuizUp on the App Store http://apple.co/1NiT99I, Google Play http://bit.ly/1Jg9rW7, Amazon Appstore http://amzn.to/1n8doBF, and Windows Phone http://bit.ly/1PouwKi.

Cautions Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains certain “forward-looking statements” related to the business of Glu Mobile Inc., including statements regarding: Glu and Plain Vanilla aiming to increase monetization of QuizUp through cross-promotion, advertising, and a new television show; that Glu and Plain Vanilla plan to join efforts to focus on the development of the QuizUp television program and that the companies hope to bring the QuizUp show to TV viewers worldwide; the expectation that such show will be centered around audience interaction and is expected to drive significant downloads of the QuizUp mobile app; that QuizUp is developing into an interest-based social network; Mr. de Masi’s joining the QuizUp board of directors and sharing Glu’s deep expertise in advertising, in-app purchase optimization, analytics and user acquisition; QuizUp benefiting from Glu’s involvement to begin driving effective and sustainable monetization; potential cross-selling opportunities between Glu’s games and QuizUp’s user-generated interest groups; the expectation that the QuizUp show will be an innovative new game show; that Glu will evaluate whether to exercise its call option to acquire the business if the partnership proves out and QuizUp revenues scale; that QuizUp may leverage Glu’s publishing resources and expertise to expand QuizUp’s audience through new mobile and multimedia initiatives; QuizUp’s transformation from a mobile trivia app to an interest based social network positioning it to benefit from growth in myriad industries and interest areas; and the companies’ intent to partner in monetization of QuizUp’s sizable and well-balanced audience of daily active users through cross-promotion, increased in-game advertising and new game features. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, the risk that we do not realize the expected benefits from our partnership with Plain Vanilla Corp., including that we are unable to capitalize on the QuizUp app’s large number of registered users, the QuizUp brand, cross-selling opportunities between Glu’s games and QuizUp’s user-generated interest groups or QuizUp’s interest-based social network platform; the risk that the show under development with NBC Universal never airs or fails to generate the benefits the parties expect; the risk that consumer demand for smartphones, tablets and next-generation platforms does not grow as significantly as we anticipate or that we will be unable to capitalize on any such growth; the risk that we do not realize a sufficient return on our investment with respect to our efforts to develop free-to-play games for smartphones, tablets and next-generation platforms; and the risk of product delays. Certain of these risks and uncertainties are or will be described in greater detail in our public filings with the SEC. Glu is not under obligation to (and expressly disclaims any such obligation to) update or alter its forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

About Glu Mobile

Glu Mobile (NASDAQ:GLUU) is a leading global developer and publisher of free-to-play games for smartphone and tablet devices. Glu is focused on creating compelling original IP games such as CONTRACT KILLER, COOKING DASH, DEER HUNTER, DINER DASH, DINO HUNTER: DEADLY SHORES, ETERNITY WARRIORS, FRONTLINE COMMANDO, RACING RIVALS, TAP SPORTS BASEBALL and TAP SPORTS FOOTBALL, and branded IP games including KIM KARDASHIAN: HOLLYWOOD, KATY PERRY POP, JAMES BOND: WORLD OF ESPIONAGE, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION, and SNIPER X WITH JASON STATHAM on the App Store, Google Play, Amazon Appstore, Facebook, Mac App Store, and Windows Phone. Glu’s unique technology platform enables its titles to be accessible to a broad audience of consumers globally. Founded in 2001, Glu is headquartered in San Francisco with major U.S. offices outside Seattle and in Long Beach, and international locations in Canada, China, India, Japan, Korea, and Russia. Consumers can find high-quality entertainment wherever they see the ‘g’ character logo or at www.glu.com. For live updates, please follow Glu via Twitter at www.twitter.com/glumobile or become a Glu fan at www.facebook.com/glumobile.

CONTRACT KILLER, COOKING DASH, DEER HUNTER, DINER DASH, DINO HUNTER: DEADLY SHORES, ETERNITY WARRIORS, FRONTLINE COMMANDO, RACING RIVALS, SNIPER X, TAP SPORTS BASEBALL, TAP SPORTS FOOTBALL, GLU, GLU MOBILE and the 'g' character logo are trademarks of Glu Mobile Inc. or its subsidiaries.

Contacts

Media Contacts:
Glu Mobile Inc.
Jason Enriquez, 415-800-6263
PR@glu.com

Glu Mobile Inc.