Monetizr raises M to replace intrusive game ads with engaging brand experiences

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Monetizr has raised $4 million to replace intrusive in-game ads with engaging brand experiences.

Monetizr is an advertising experience platform that aims to disrupt the multi-billion-dollar mobile games ad market by providing scalable, modular and programmatic immersive ad experiences.

Change Ventures led the round, with participation from Techstars and Ludus Ventures. The round also saw investments from notable angel investors, including Ari Paparo, former executive at Google and Beeswax, and Jared Schrieber, Founder of InfoScout/Numerator. The funds raised will be used to expand Monetizr’s U.S. sales team and establish European development hubs in London, Riga, and Helsinki.

With partnerships already established with Fortune 500 companies and global-leading games publishers, Monetizr plans to leverage the funding to further scale its operations and enhance its market presence.

The shift in advertising budgets towards gaming is evident, with over three billion gamers worldwide and an increasing number of viewers moving away from traditional television. The in-game advertising market is projected to reach $32 billion in 2023 and $46 billion by 2027.

Surprisingly, despite the immense opportunity, brands and marketers still face challenges in developing scalable ad campaigns, while game publishers struggle to monetize their products effectively.

Monetizr is based in Riga, Latvia.

Andris Berzins, partner at lead investor Change Ventures, said in a statement, “We’ve been following Monetizr for a few years and we are delighted to be investing now as we believe it is the last chance to get on board before the company embarks on an explosive growth trajectory. Speaking to Monetizr’s clients, they tell us it is the only ad platform delivering engaging, scalable in-game advertising that gamers don’t hate. We believe Monetizr is the spark that is going to ignite global mobile games advertising.”

Currently, in-game advertising primarily consists of intrusive video ads or background billboards that lack engagement. Monetizr aims to change this by delivering targeted and engaging brand experiences that seamlessly integrate with gameplay. By offering brands the opportunity to be part of the game rather than a disruption, Monetizr enhances the overall gaming experience and creates meaningful connections with consumers.

Monetizr was founded in 2016 in Riga, Latvia. It has 10 people.

Moreover, Monetizr’s platform provides valuable consumer behavioral data, crucial in a landscape where privacy rules are becoming more stringent. With the impending elimination of cookies and restrictions on access to in-app data, Monetizr’s SDK enables advertisers to gather anonymous consumer insights.

“Instead of providing stagnant and siloed digital ad units, Monetizr integrates brand stories into the actual games, increasing attention engagement ten times that of antiquated digital advertising and creating meaningful connections with consumers,” said Andris Merkulovs, CEO of Monetizr, in a statement. “We are connecting the brand story with the game story. For brands, the opportunity to be part of the game rather than a roadblock is incredibly powerful. We want to help brands tell authentic stories that enhance gamer experiences.”

Monetizr works with a lot of brands like Tide.

Monetizr’s engagement metrics are independently measurable by third parties such as Nielsen, following IAB standardized formats. The platform is also compliant with marketing automation solutions like Oracle Moat Measurement, OMSDK compliant, and SOC2 certified.

In an email to GamesBeat, COO Martins Bratuskins said the company was making mobile games but realized it needed a way to monetize these games.

“We experienced firsthand the monetization struggles that game developers and publishers have,” Bratuskins said. “Because of our gaming backgrounds, we’ve always been very focused on the players, on the users of the games and apps. And the problem with most monetization options was that it was very unfriendly to the gamers. So if you have pop ads you have lots of different things that just steal your attention, and provide no value.”

The company set out to put the players first and enable advertisers to help players instead of annoying them. And so it landed on the idea of Monetizr in 2020 as it pivoted from games to monetization.

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