The gaming industry is investing in its own adtech, while agencies, VCs and even professional sports teams jump on board. Anzu.io, an Israeli in-game advertising platform, has received $9 million in new funding to fuel expansion in North America and Asia.
The gaming industry is now larger than the music and film industries combined and is expected to reach about $257 billion by 2025. “Gaming is one activity that has exploded over the past year and increasingly an important advertising channel,” said WPP CEO Mark Read.
Anzu makes it easier for brands to get in on the action. Operating across console, PC, and mobile platforms, Anzu’s technology blends real-world ads into the highest quality video games, esports tournaments and live streams. Clients include game publishers Ubisoft, Lion Castle, and Nacon and global brands Pepsico, Samsung and Vodafone.
BITKRAFT Ventures and HBSE Ventures led the round, with participation from global marketing services organisation WPP and Sony Innovation Fund. Other investors include Alumni Ventures Group, Goal Ventures, an LGBT+ VC called Gaingels, along with angel investors Marc Merrill, co-founder of Riot Games, and Dylan Collins, co-founder and CEO of SuperAwesome, a kid-safe ad platform recently acquired by Epic Games. The US baseball team the Chicago Cubs joined the round, to boot.
With the new funding, the Israeli startup plans to expand internationally, starting in the US with Los Angeles and New York, plus Singapore, China and more.