Q&A with mobile game ad platform Odeeo

Amit Monheit and Elad Stern, a pair of ad tech veterans, explain their concept and business model
BizAge Interview Team
Amit Monheit and Elad Stern

What's your elevator pitch?

Odeeo is building the future of in game-audio advertising. Founded by us in 2021, Odeeo is creating solutions for publishers to unlock the fastest-growing segment of marketing spend, while empowering advertisers to reach mobile audiences at scale. Odeeo is based in Tel Aviv with a rapidly growing team across Europe and the US, and is backed by notable investors like Play Ventures and Heracles.

Why does the market need it?

The mobile game market has been around over a decade, and developers are eager for innovation and new approaches to monetization - at the same time, the advertising market has shifted and investment is moving into new areas. Advertisers and game developers need new ways to collaborate and unlock mutual value for their audiences.

Where is the business today?

Over the course of this past year, our company has experienced a truly remarkable transformative period. One of the most great accomplishments has been the exponential growth we have witnessed that has exceeded our expectations. Between the first quarter of 2022 and the first quarter of 2023 we’ve seen a remarkable 10x growth, making our company propelled to new heights and we were able to create over 10 billion available ad opportunities globally.

Another pivotal achievement that has contributed to this year’s success for us has been the significant expansion of our Software Development Kit (SDK) market share. We have now partnered up directly with four out of the top five chart-topping game developers. These collaborations have proven to be instrumental in broadening our reach and influence in the industry, enabling us to tap into a vast and engaged user base.

In addition to the external growth we’ve seen today we have also experienced substantial internal expansion. Our team has grown from 5 to 40 professionals across the globe.Odeeo has also successfully secured $9 million in funding from strategic investors.This injection of capital not only provides us with the necessary resources to further enhance our platform and expand our operations but also validates the confidence that influential stakeholders have in our business model and growth potential.

What made you think there was money in this?

Our confidence in the potential of monetization in this field stemmed from both of us having an extensive background of over a decade in digital advertising, mobile advertising, and mobile gaming monetization. Having spent over a decade in these industries has led to a lot of insight and knowledge concerning the topic. Our experience at IronSource which was acquired by Unity has highlighted two main things:

Firstly, we recognize that mobile gaming holds a dominant position in the entertainment industry with an enormous user base of over 3 billion mobile gamers worldwide. Secondly, we have observed that brands are gradually but noticeably venturing into in-game advertising, particularly as programmatic mobile advertising and in-app bidding gained a wider adoption. This shift indicated a growing interest from brands to explore new avenues with games and the gaming sector, and our goal was to develop an audio advertising solution that would be beneficial for developers and enhancing the gaming experience for players.

What’s your biggest strength?

Our greatest strength lies in the synergy of our distinct industry expertise, extensive experience and unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction. Every member of the Odeeo team possesses the right background and is deeply passionate about meeting the needs of our developer partners as they are the backbone of our business. This drive propels us to continuously innovate and create top-notch products that deliver exceptional player experiences for gamers and allows us to offer advertisers access to the largest engaged audience in the market.

What is the secret to making the business work?

We believe that the biggest “secret” to making the business work lies in finding your right balance across multiple aspects. Firstly, starting with the right co-founders and co-workers/employees building a team that shares your vision and complement your skills. Building a team of co-workers and employees that share the company’s mission and are passionate about the industry. Honesty and transparency play a crucial role in fostering a trustworthy working environment in which the stakeholders, investors and board members are also aligned and working with us towards a common goal. By hiring people that share your vision and are hungry to excel and passionate about the field we’ve built a really strong foundation and a cohesive team that is instrumental in making our business thrive.

How do you market the company?

Our marketing strategy at Odeeo revolves around effectively educating and engaging both developers and advertisers in the emerging in-game advertising market. As this market is still gaining mainstream traction even after ten years, we prioritise showcasing the clear benefits of our innovative product offering. By turning our early customers into enthusiastic advocates, we aim to build credibility and trust among potential customers. We understand that developers and advertisers seek a market leader who has successfully implemented the product, and we have been fortunate to secure partnerships with renowned publishers and recognizable advertisers. These partnerships not only serve as endorsements but also demonstrate our market leadership, driving further adoption of our solution.

Tell us about the business model

Our business model revolves around our unique position in connecting advertisers and publishers in a mutually beneficial manner, fostering a win-win-win scenario for all parties involved. We operate on a revenue-sharing basis, where fees are distributed among us, advertisers, and publishers. The pricing of inventory follows a CPM (Cost Per Mile) model, where advertisers pay for exposure measured in units of 1000 impressions. As an in-app gaming advertising platform, Odeeo sells advertising spots within games to digital audio advertisers, and in turn, game developers receive a share of the revenue generated from these partnerships. This business model aligns the interests of advertisers, publishers, and our platform, driving sustainable growth and success.

What were you doing before?

We started Odeeo in mid 2020, with our shared vision to connect mobile games to the evolving digital audio ad ecosystem. Prior to that we both had extensive experience in the digital advertising and media industries.

Amit: I was the Head of Growth and Monetization at Audioburst. Prior to that I held several global business units in senior roles at IronSource, for over seven years.

Elad: I spent over a decade in the online media industry with my most significant position being the Head of Media for IronSource. Prior to that I worked in finance as a trader and have also been a former professional tennis player.

Our diverse expertise and insights from our previous roles paved the way for our mutual vision to connect mobile games with the evolving digital audio advertising ecosystem, which led to the creation of Odeeo.

Are there any technologies you’ve found useful?

One technology that has proven very useful for us is virtual collaboration tools, especially considering that our team is distributed across continents. We founded Odeeo during the peak of the pandemic and we could never have done what we did without the great video chat services. We were running a complete global virtual operation from our home office with employees, partners and investors without meeting them in person even once. These technologies have played a crucial role in driving our business forward and overcoming the challenges of remote work and innovation. Nowadays, we’re really excited about the advancement in the field of AI, specifically Chat-GPT and Dall-e that are allowing us to explore the limits of creative creation.

What is the future vision?

Our future vision is that in-game audio will become a standard form of advertising within the mobile gaming industry. We envision a space which allows players to enjoy the original gameplay experience with minimal interruptions. Our goal is to provide brands with a unique and top of mind channel to connect with gamers, utilising short form audio creatives that are specifically optimised for the gaming space and cater to the user’s short attention spans. We aim to create a harmonious advertising ecosystem where players can engage with brands in a non-intrusive manner and this way to enhance their overall gaming experience.

Amit Monheit, CEO and Co-Founder

Amit Monheit is the CEO and Co-Founder of Odeeo, the global leader in in-game audio advertising solutions. Monheit and his co-founder Elad Stern started Odeeo in 2020 with a vision of connecting mobile games to the evolving digital audio ad ecosystem, building on their decades of success in digital advertising. Prior to starting Odeeo, Monheit served as Head of Growth and Monetization at Audioburst after leading several global business units in senior roles at ironSource for over seven years. Since launching Odeeo, the company has expanded across the Middle East, Europe and the Americas, and has already established partnerships with some of the top global mobile publishers

Elad Stern, COO and Co-Founder

Elad Stern is the co-founder and COO of Odeeo, the leader for in-app audio monetization. A seasoned media executive and entrepreneur, Stern has spent over a decade working in mobile gaming and digital advertising with extensive executive experience across programmatic and user acquisition at ironSource. Elad is based in Israel, but is at home anywhere in the world that has a tennis court.

Written by
BizAge Interview Team
June 6, 2023
Written by
June 6, 2023