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AdTech Startups to Watch

15 June 2019

The advertising sector is forever evolving as the convergence of seemingly disparate technologies enable advertising to be more creative, have greater reach across multiple platforms, and become more responsive. Behind the scenes, the ad marketplace is gaining advantage from the use of big data and AI to reduce ad fraud, generate deliverable ROI, and provide greater insights than ever before. While there are plenty of big established stalwarts, startups have always been leading the way in innovating the way we create, consume, and quantify advertising. Here's some that have captured our attention:

AdMix (London)

AdMix is building Supply-Side infrastructure enabling advertisers to reach their audience programmatically in VR or AR, by using bespoke ad units, recycling existing ones, and buying ads through existing demand-side platforms.


A partnership with Oath (the parent company of Yahoo and AOL), and a 2019 beta has seen over 100 VR/AR creators working with its platform. This year, State Farm became the first insurance company to buy VR media. The company had the objective to reach a slightly younger demographic, which perfectly matches Admix’s VR inventory. The campaign ran throughout December, using bespoke creatives with a play on words with Virtual Reality. Very satisfied with the results, in January this year, State Farm decided to extend the campaign with a regular budget throughout the year, becoming the first insurance advertiser to integrate VR within their media plan.

The company announceda $2.1M fundraising seed round in November 2018.

Podmosphere (Sweden)

Nearly one in four Americans listen to podcasts on a monthly basis with studies showing podcast listening is on the rise. Podmosphere is a early-stage Swedish startup with the core belief that all podcasters should be able to earn some money on their unique content. They offer baked- in host read ads to ensure high results and returning advertisers. Podcasts bellow 50k listeners per episode don't usually get sponsored in the market today, and the startup provides this opportunity to niche segments.

Advertisers easily sign up, select podcasts with just a few clicks on the podcasts we represent with fixed prices. They then simply send out an advertising request. Advertisers can easily follow their sponsorships and mass-sponsor many podcasts at once.

Kayzen (Germany)

Kayzen helps mobile advertisers take advantage of programmatic in-housing. They provide an enterprise level software platform for app developers and agencies to take mobile programmatic in-house.

There is an increasing number of large brands who are bringing their programmatic ad buying in-house through a combination of licensed products and professional support provided by specialist consultancies.

However, the mobile in-app advertising ecosystem hasn’t quite caught up with this trend yet. Traditionally, mobile advertisers are working with multiple intermediaries in order to reach their audiences by placing ads in tens of thousands of ad-enabled apps on iOS and Android. The lack of direct access to inventory results in a lower level of control and transparency and can cause additional problems such as a potential misuse of valuable first-party data. In light of increasing scrutiny over data privacy regulations, the latter can pose serious risks for app publishers.

The company believes that many will eventually run programmatic in-house, pioneering new ways of running in-app user acquisition, retargeting and upper funnel campaigns.

Verticly (London)

Verticly is a SaaS platform that helps brands attribute advertising spent through offline or online channels to actual customer expenditures and purchases. Every offline purchase is connected to a consumer who can then be re-targeted with further advertising. Brands can directly calculate their RoI on specific campaigns, and no app is required for consumers. An example is the use of an online coupon -Verticly technology was able to identify which consumers had not yet redeemed their coupon and subsequently re-engage with them across social channels to encourage redemption, drive sales and social sharing among peer groups.Brands spend billions to create consumer demand with no connection to 90% of all purchases taking place offline. This inability to connect advertising to purchase is a critical challenge for brands and offers huge potential for scale and value across the industry.

Realeyes (London)

Using the latest in AI and computer vision, Realeyes enables any mobile or desktop webcam to measure the emotions and attention levels of consumers as they watch content. Realeyes’ Emotion AI platform enables brands, agencies and media companies to quantify and optimise the effectiveness of their creative and informs their media buying strategies. Their clients include Coca-Cola, Expedia and AT&T. Working with Nike, the company was able to track customer responses to Nike advertising - Nike's Serena Williams ad beats Colin Kaepernick spot on engagement. 'Dream crazier' scored higher among both men and women in data from Realeyes.

The company was this year granted a US patent that would make it the only company to have face-reading technology that measures viewers’ emotional and attention responses to ad campaigns in real time.


The company announced a $12.4M funding round this month, taking the total funding raised by the company to $31.1M.

Here at HYGH we're proud to be working in Digital out of Home advertising, a sector that is only in its nascent stages. We're excited to see how the sector evolves and what it will look like in a few years as technologies develop further.

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