Planet O, our portfolio company at NextStep Studio, raises US$ 3.2 M in seed funding round.
Planet O Ltd., a tech-driven, state-of-the-art mixed-reality entertainment hub, announced today that it has raised ¥ 21.5 million CNY (approximately $ 3.2 million USD) in a seed funding round, establishing the company as a front runner in destination high-tech entertainment facilities. Global real estate developer Ceetrus led the investment. Ceetrus, formerly known as Immochan International and subsidiary to Auchan Holding Group, holds roughly 300 commercial centers globally. Planet O plans to use their funding to develop futuristic brick and mortar entertainment hubs, beginning with their first location expected to open early next year in Shanghai, China, with subsequent plans for continued expansion.
“Planet O has assembled an exceptional team, with credibility, extensive industry knowledge, and competency in building and scaling successful concepts in the Chinese market,” said Benoît Lheureux, CEO of Ceetrus. “Ceetrus is willing to develop innovative projects that meet the needs of citizens. We believe that Planet O fills an important experiential and social need for the generation of today.” As part of the financing, Ceetrus will also support Planet O with its development resources and capabilities.
Founded in 2016, Planet O is seeking to disrupt the entertainment industry of China. “Planet O will change the way consumers view and interact with high tech, virtual reality, and extended reality,” said Company Founder and CEO Eric Oetting. VR and other new high-tech immersive technologies have exploded onto the gaming and eSports scene in recent years, but still, struggle to gain mass consumer adoption. Planet O plans to change this reality with a new approach to location-based gaming as a physical platform, where cutting edge technology companies can showcase their products, games, and experiences directly to China’s 1.4 Billion tech-hungry consumers.
Powered by proprietary Smart Facility Technology, Planet O is equipped to outmaneuver competitors with increased engagement and retention by creating a community that empowers friends and gamers to come together, connect, compete, and share experiences socially. Co-Founder and COO Scott Minoie, previously Managing Director and Founder of Element Fresh, a casual dining chain with over 40 outlets across China said, “We focused on designing the project for local communities in a way that allows people to connect and share within an industry which is rapidly expanding throughout the country and the globe. We are thrilled that Ceetrus shares our vision, and we’re excited to work with such a forward-thinking company who has extensive experience in commercial development and a track record of successfully growing global brands.”
“We have followed the development of Planet O from early stages and they have our full support moving forward. This is part of Ceetrus strategy to support the development of innovative concepts which match with our vision to link people by creating sustainable, smart and lively places to brighten up everyday life,” said Vianney Dumas, Head of Innovation for Ceetrus.
Planet O has partnered with high-tech XR, AI, and gaming companies from around the world and is offering a valuable passage to the Chinese market. “Planet O’s creators are no strangers to China. They have been developing successful hospitality and entertainment ventures locally over the past two decades,” said Gregory Prudhommeaux, Co-President of La French Tech Shanghai and Founder of NextStep Studio, an advisor to Planet O. By offering distribution support for entering the China market, Planet O plans to help newly established innovative companies, penetrate a murky world of unknowns.
ABOUT PLANET O
Planet O is a location-based mixed virtual reality and social experience hub. Founded in 2016 and based out of Shanghai, China, the company’s first location is set to open in the city during 2020, with expansion plans for additional locations across China. Planet O has established strong tech partnerships across the globe and is markedly positioned to provide cutting edge and technologically driven entertainment to demanding markets.
Established in 1976, Ceetrus is a global real-estate actor known as Immochan until June 2018. Ceetrus operates a transformation since 2016 to become a global real-estate development company. With 279 shopping centres worldwide and thanks to strong partnerships within citizens and territories, Ceetrus builds animating places integrating commerce, housing, offices and urban infrastructures. By creating sustainable, smart and lively places, Ceetrus’ statement is to build or enhance a real human link between people to make tomorrow’s city. Its fields of expertise are from development, promotion, investment, site administration to innovation.
Key figures: 10 countries, 279 shopping centres, 10 700 trade partnerships, 39 000m² of housing & 89 000 m² of office in 2018, 900 employees.
ABOUT ELEMENT FRESH
Element Fresh is a casual Western-style restaurant chain focusing on fresh and healthy cuisine. Founded in 2001 by Scott Minoie, the award-winning restaurant chain currently operates 41 locations across nine cities throughout Mainland China.
ABOUT NEXTSTEP STUDIO
Founded in 2007, NextStep Studio is a hybrid incubator that provides selected entrepreneurs with hands-on advisory, stewardship, accelerated fundraising assistance, and a curated network of investors and experts for startups at the intersection of technology and service industries.
ABOUT LA FRENCH TECH SHANGHAI
La French Tech supports startups through programs, events, funding opportunities, policymaking and a powerful network of French Tech communities across the globe. The Shanghai hub is home to a large administration of 20 volunteers that animate a community of 1000 followers, aid in bridging cooperations and partnerships with Chinese tech communities and authorities, as well as working closely with 50 startups co-founded by French nationals and operating in Shanghai.
CONTACTSFor more information on Planet O, please contact Miguel Lheureux at firstname.lastname@example.org
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