Our Story

It started in 2014 with the launch of our gamified restaurant discovery app, Spotluck. In the ensuing years, we grew Spotluck to feature thousands of restaurants in many cities. But we had one big continuing challenge – acquiring consumers. We could not find an efficient, affordable and trackable solution to informing the masses about our launches and product.

In 2016, after Spotluck’s Philadelphia launch, we piloted a program that placed interactive tablets in the backseats of Uber ® and Lyft ® drivers’ vehicles. The tablet included a simple trivia game and a single Spotluck advertisement. The driver and passenger feedback was very positive and the marketing awareness began to immediately show for Spotluck.

In 2017 we shifted the pilot program to our home market of Washington, DC. Within two months, our driver network was rapidly growing through word-of-mouth. Soon after, Play Octopus was officially born – we expanded our games and tablet features, opened the doors to all local full-time drivers, and brought on our first sponsors.

Today, we operate in major cities across the United States, partner with thousands of rideshare drivers, and work with a wide range of sponsors.

Mission Statement

Enhance the rideshare journey for riders and drivers.

Meet the Team

Cherian Thomas​

Co-founder & CEO

Cherian Thomas​

Cherian holds two Masters Degrees and received an honorary Doctorate at the age of 32 . His passion is leading small teams to take on massive challenges, living by the words, “if it was easy everyone would do it.”
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Bradford Sayler​

Co-founder & COO

Bradford Sayler​

Founder. Product Person. Attorney. Accountant. Family Guy. Eater, Drinker and Maker of Delicious Things. Wearing many hats keeps Brad on his toes and gives him a warm happy head.
LinkedIn

Cherian Thomas​

Co-founder & CEO

Cherian Thomas​

Cherian holds two Masters Degrees and received an honorary Doctorate at the age of 32 . His passion is leading small teams to take on massive challenges, living by the words, “if it was easy everyone would do it.”
LinkedIn

Bradford Sayler​

Co-founder & COO

Bradford Sayler​

Founder. Product Person. Attorney. Accountant. Family Guy. Eater, Drinker and Maker of Delicious Things. Wearing many hats keeps Brad on his toes and gives him a warm happy head.
LinkedIn

Abu Balanandan

Chief Technology Officer

Abu Balanandan

The resident coding beast leads tech. He started off as a mainframe developer before moving to app development and backend architecture. Abu is extremely passionate about cricket and all types of biryani. 

Dillon Tedesco

Chief Revenue Officer

Dillon Tedesco

A sales and biz dev leader with a knack for process improvement and optimization. Dillon leverages his 10 years of experience to oversee revenue growth. He enjoys cooking and time with his wife and dog.
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Shirish Verma​

Chief Financial Officer

Shirish Verma​

A finance geek and excel wiz. Shirish brings 12+ years of investment experience. Loves to binge on Bloomberg and whoop the team in ping pong. 
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Cedric Ace

Creative Director

Cedric Ace

Creative Director
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Ryan Bricklemyer

Senior Director, Business Technology

Ryan Bricklemyer

Senior Director, Business Technology
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Michael Calender

Driver Team Associate

Michael Calender

Driver Team Associate
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Abhiraj Deshpande

Database Developer

Abhiraj Deshpande

Database Developer
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Lauren DiRuggiero

Director of Communications

Lauren DiRuggiero

Director of Communications
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Solongo Enkhtor

Product Designer

Solongo Enkhtor

Product Designer
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Domenica Esparza

Graphic Designer

Domenica Esparza

Graphic Designer
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Joshua Howe

Driver Activation Director

Joshua Howe

Driver Activation Director
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Joseph Hutchins

Operations Analyst

Joseph Hutchins

Operations Analyst
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Alex Kin

Driver Community Director

Alex Kin

Driver Community Director
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Brett Line

Sr. Product Manager

Brett Line

Sr. Product Manager
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Brody Lynch


Corporate Accounts

Brody Lynch


Corporate Accounts
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Mike Marchetti

Operations Manager

Mike Marchetti

Operations Manager
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Nils Martin

Client Success Director

Nils Martin

Client Success Director
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Nicolette Martinez

Driver Growth Director

Nicolette Martinez

Driver Growth Director
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Ian Scoville

Driver Support Associate

Ian Scoville

Driver Support Associate
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Bhanu Sirukuri

Data Engineer

Bhanu Sirukuri

Data Engineer
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Matthias Teufel

Finance Analyst

Matthias Teufel

Finance Analyst
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Hamma Toure

Driver Team Ambassador

Hamma Toure

Driver Team Ambassador

Sarah VanDrie

Marketing Manager

Sarah VanDrie

Marketing Manager
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Malisa Heard

Driver team Intern

Malisa Heard

Driver team Intern
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