Stock Commentary

Premiere Horizon Alliance building an Axie challenger?

Merkado Barkada
Premiere Horizon Alliance building an Axie challenger?
There is no word yet on what kind of gameplay PHlay will feature, or if it will also copy the Axie model of using its own proprietary cryptocurrency to facilitate in-game transactions and withdrawals.
Merkado Barkada

In a recent Bilyo article, Premiere Horizon Alliance [PHA 1.04 2.97%] said that it had signed an MOU with Bengga Corp., an app developer founded and owned by PHA CEO Augusto Serafica and his family, to create a game app called “PHlay” to get into the “booming play2earn gaming industry.”

For those who are not familiar, a “play2earn” game is one where the user is able to earn in-game assets that can be converted into real-world currency. The most notorious example of this game type is Axie Infinity, a game developed by a Vietnamese studio in 2018, where players buy and battle unique monsters called “Axies.”

Battling earns players various amounts of a cryptocurrency called “SLP” (actual name: “Smooth Love Potion”), which players can take out of the game and exchange for other cryptocurrencies or flip back into pesos. Check out this ABS-CBN article about Axie if you’re interested to know more.

Anyway, the MOU signed between PHA and Bengga allows the parties to conduct a 30-day due diligence period to explore the idea about creating a joint venture to create the PHlay game, where PHA’s subsidiary would own 70% of the JV, and Bengga 30%.

There is no word yet on what kind of gameplay PHlay will feature, or if it will also copy the Axie model of using its own proprietary cryptocurrency to facilitate in-game transactions and withdrawals.


Anything successful will spawn copycat attempts to replicate that success, so PHA’s attempt to add “play2earn gaming” to its long list of interests is not that unusual to me. What is interesting, though, is that Bengga, the company that PHA would team up within this JV to develop PHlay, was founded by Augusto Serafica and is still run to this day by Mr. Serafica and his family.

Mr. Serafica is the current President of PHA and the former owner of PHA before he sold it to Marvin Dela Cruz & Friends (MDCF) in 2020 to act as a potential backdoor vehicle for MDCF to list SquidPay. The reason this is interesting is that I have been hearing rumors of strong internal conflicts between the outgoing Serafica faction and the incoming MDCF faction. It seems as though PHA’s brain trust is split in two, with each part planning and executing in a different strategic direction.

The truth of the matter is that PHA’s future value is tied far more to what MDCF could do with the company, but everything about MDCF’s involvement has raised (for me) more questions than it has answered.

If Mr. Dela Cruz owns PHA, then why can’t he make the management changes needed to execute his vision? Why hasn’t Mr. Dela Cruz outlined his strategy for PHA in the indefinite time between his purchase of the company and the potential injection of his SquidPay interest? If you remember from the backdoor listing agreement between PHA and Mr. Dela Cruz, the injection of the SquidPay assets is only one of several possible ways that Mr. Dela Cruz could satisfy his end of the deal.

There’s a cloud of uncertainty here, and the strange vibes coming from the friction between the separate factions within PHA won’t help clear things up.


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Merkado Barkada's opinions are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any particular stock. These daily articles are not updated with new information, so each investor must do his or her own due diligence before trading, as the facts and figures in each particular article may have changed.

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