Stockholm-based ad tech company Advrty has raised $570,000 to develop its advertising platform for games and applications in VR, AR and MR. The investment comes from a range of business angels in Stockholm, Helsinki and Singapore, amongst them Pontus Dahlström who is also a partner of Advrty, and the founder of FundedByMe, Daniel Daboczy.
The company has been working on the idea since last summer and announced their vision for the first time during SLUSH in Helsinki, where they qualified to the top-100 start-ups and became a finalist in the Slush Seedcamp pitch competition. The company has been financed to date by a private tech investor in Stockholm. With this new round, the company is valued at $2.1 million.
First, the company is aiming to cover advertising in games developed for Virtual Reality. Niklas Bakos, co-founder and CEO of Advrty said, “We’re enabling ads to be seamlessly integrated in their VR worlds, with anything from large billboards to smaller product placements on objects, where we dynamically deliver the ad”. He went on to explain that, “VR enables a much larger display compared to a mobile screen or a PC. With that, ad units goes from 5-13 inch to something much, much larger – think the whole field of view of human eyes”.
The idea is to create immersive, seamless and non-intrusive ads within games and applications. Bakos said, “We’ve developed a patent pending algorithm that understands how and when users are looking at things within our complete field of view, based on how various impressions are registered in our brains. It’s not just about how and where we gaze”.
With that, the company can create ads where the advertiser only pays for real, actual views or interactions, which is a massive hassle to track properly in traditional ad tech on web and mobile.The platform will also give access to advertiser data, when and how users viewed the ads and for how long. Bakos said, “We’ve also developed a system to create contextual targeting for every ad unit in our platform”.
Advrty plans to create more advanced ad units for MR, such as animated volumes using AI. Bakos said, “We’re in early discussions with both Magic Leap and Microsoft about Mixed Reality and we believe the technology will slowly change the definition of the screen. With MR eyewear that allows you to draw up a 100 inch screen in the room, there is no longer any need to use a smartphone”.
He envisions a future where we will walk around wearing MR eyewear all-day long and Advrty wants to be a leading platform for advertising in that future. Bakos also believes games and applications in VR will slowly move towards the free-to-play model that dominates mobile apps today. “Volumes in VR today are too small for F2P to work, but that will soon change. We want developers to have the option of going free and, at the same time, being able to monetise their content with ads”.
The Swedish start-up aims to release their closed beta to advertisers, developers and publishers in Q4 this year.