I have had many questions about Diverted River the past couple of weeks since we announced our exchange agreement with Simplicity ($WINR) and I wanted to get a post out to share more information about who we are and our background.
It has taken me a bit of time to respond because the past 10 days was our family’s annual Disney trip. The best part about our family loving Disney so much is the massive amount of related research I can do in how the biggest LBE (Location Based Entertainment) company in the world operates their business especially from a technology and app standpoint.
First let me talk about why we call ourselves an entertainment technology organization (ETO). Since 2003 we have built software and used technology in the esports industry. Our services not only included our custom built software platform but also consulting, design and implementation in physical spaces for clients like Gamestop, Best Buy, Dell (Alienware), HP, Lenovo, Microsoft and many more as well as hundreds of schools and universities.
We realized that selling just software was only half of what our clients needed. They needed to hire us as a permanent partner in the space, having us involved with start up, implementation and ongoing operation of those spaces. We loved being a part of each of their businesses in a way that was much deeper than just a vendor or contractor.
We also realized that technology is never going to stop changing and evolving. It is unstoppable, like a river. We learned how to work with many different other software platforms and companies to tie our systems together for a single interface for the end users. Both customers using the software AND the managers and owners would have one place to pull data from everywhere. We couldn’t stop the flow of the technology-advancing river, but we became experts in diverting it and putting its power to use.
Selling that esports software company will become a huge demarcation point for our founding group for the rest of our lives. We wrestle everyday with the unknown of if that was the right decision at the right time or not. If you want to read more about my personal journey selling that company there is a post I wrote HERE.
But I want to be brutally honest here, the esports industry is still trying to figure out a sustainable business model. Folks can say what they want, but I have operated a LAN center (now called an esports venue) personally for nearly 20 years and esports is NOT a stand-alone model for an LBE. It can work in a school where it is not the primary source of income, it can work in a larger LBE facility where it is a subset of income for a broader entertainment offering, but it is nowhere close to being a stand-alone LBE.
Which brings me to how we are evolving for this next chapter with Diverted River to serve a much broader LBE industry.
We are building a brand new platform we call Takoha that will pull together many different systems and data from LBE products into one experience for the customer and location owners/managers. For years we have successfully integrated our custom software with popular games like Fortnite, League of Legends, Apex, Minecraft and more, so that players could login one time and have significantly enhanced and rewarding experiences inside these esports venues around those games automatically.
We have now turned our sights towards the LBE market by creating a new platform which will integrate with other entertainment systems inside these LBEs. It has always been important to us to “eat our own dog food” and to experience the points of success and pain with our customers by operating our own real-world test venues as part of the process.
In the past we always had my LAN center, eBash, as the test bed for feedback on our software and I love being side-by-side with our clients in the experience of using our products and services. This new LBE venture is no different and to that end we have already successfully launched a unique pinball experience called “Bank of Pinball” which will use early iterations of Takoha, allowing customers to have one interface to interact with while behind the scenes it pulls data from pinball machines to track their stats, allows them to join fun challenges and earn rewards. Bank of Pinball has been open to the public for almost a year now.
Next we will be opening a digital ax-throwing facility which is currently under construction. Same thing here, Takoha will be the platform that the clients use to reserve their bays, track their games & scores and earn points & rewards.
eBash our LAN center is also evolving to include board and card games. In this model we will have Takoha integrate with retail systems but will also have a robust system for TOs/GMs to reserve space and run their own events.
Two other new facilities are under development as well. One is a restaurant so that we can integrate Takoha with great food and beverage offerings like Toast. The restaurant will also have a unique entertainment offering that we aren’t quite ready to reveal yet. We are additionally looking at a new VR concept as well for a 5th location.
While that all might seem like a LOT of venues to operate here is the beautiful thing with all of these venues. These are all at our local mall where we are headquartered and are all managed and operated by one group of staff. They each have their own brands and store spaces, but they are connected through one network and have one set of backend systems.
Now for the questions I have received about the Exchange Agreement that Diverted River Technology signed with Simplicity (a public company that trades with the stock symbol: WINR). As I mentioned in the press release, there are several closing conditions that each side must fulfill before the deal closes. There is no guarantee that the closing conditions will be met, or that the exchange agreement will be completed. Until then, we will continue operating as a self-funded private company.
I appreciate the questions and excitement about our new venture, and am flattered that so many of you are interested in buying shares. However until the deal is closed, we are a private company and are not part of Simplicity.