Management team: Paul Coggins, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer; Jacques Kotze, Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer; Byron Plant, Chief Operating Officer; Lauren Murphy, Chief Financial Officer
Why was Adludio founded?
Firstly, we had some reasonably good tech that had been built already.
Secondly, creative was the one area in mobile advertising that had been badly catered for up until 2015. If you were to look at ads on mobile, they were always bad. And yet, creative was always the main driver – and that’s something that’s been borne out loads now.
If you look at how people have been targeted with ads, it’s always been around data, and following people around. That annoyed people, and probably had as much impact on introducing privacy laws as anything else. However, the main driver of pushing people down the purchase funnel is the creative. So, our starting point was to deliver much more engaging, and interactive, ads – and we’ve grown and evolved the proposition from there.
Why the name?
If you’ve ever tried to find a name, it’s really difficult. You can come up with a list of names, but trying to find copyrights, and everything else, is hard. However, there is rhyme and reason to our name.
All of our ads are about engaging and playing. At the start, the technology that formed the basis of what we did was called the Game Engine, because the idea was to essentially gamify ads. And ‘Adludio’ means ‘to play’ in Latin.
What does Adludio do?
We’re a brand performance platform that delivers guaranteed brand engagement. We build this engagement with highly interactive ads. All our solutions are empowered with an AI-based algorithm that uses historical creative data inside our platform. That AI-powered creative recommendation algorithm predicts which ad will be great on a particular vertical for a particular audience.
If you think about the purchase funnel, the bottom part of the funnel is well catered for. There’s no real performance angle for the top part, so that’s what we’re trying to address. We offer guaranteed brand performance through our trading model, which is based on cost per engagement rather than CPM. So, we only charge when somebody engages with our ad units.
It’s about delivering brilliant advertising results on mobile, with creative at the core.
Who are Adludio’s customers and partners?
We’ve essentially got five target groups. The first group is ad agencies/media buyers, who we offer a managed service to. They give us a brief, we sell them cost per engagement, we use our algorithms to buy the media, and we make as much margin as we can. It may sound arbitrary, but it isn’t, because they’re buying an outcome.
Target category two are the trading desks. We have a PMP-type solution, whereby we create a marketplace through Xandr, give them the creative, give them a deal ID, and then we markup the media at the backend.
Category three is brand direct. We need to pivot our business – which is 95% agency – into brand direct over the next two years. And this is something that we’re currently working on.
Then there’s the DSPs. I put this under the category of ‘channel partners’. We want channel partners to go out and sell Adludio – and we have a few in various regions. For instance, DV360 are now briefing us on behalf of brands. We then use their platform to deliver the media, and put the supply through Xandr. That way, clients get access to our creative, DV360 gets the media going through them, and we get paid via Xandr on the supply side.
The final target market would be trade buyers, because we’re looking to exit in three years, and need to position ourselves for those guys.
What makes Adludio so special?
There are algorithms that buy media, but our algorithms are looking at things differently to other algorithms. We look at where people engage with our ads – that’s our driver. That is a different data pool to what everybody else is doing, and that allows us to have incredible results around all of the metrics.
We can use our algorithms to optimize to view through rate, to completion, to click, because they’re looking at more signals than standard algorithms. They’re looking at how and where people are engaging with ads. And engagement is something that every brand needs.
How are you making the lives of your customers better?
In terms of the agencies, the fact that we wrap up everything into one engagement is pretty good for them. They get the creative, they get the media, and they get the reports. That makes things easier for a media buyer who, otherwise, has to coordinate a million and one different elements. Ultimately, the platform that we’re building out is designed to automate the entire process. A brand would simply upload their brief into the platform, and then see the ad being built by us. So, we’re not giving people an authoring tool that means that they need designers to go and build it. They don’t want that; they just want stuff to get done. And then we buy the media and deliver the report.
It’s all about automating the process and taking as much pain away from them during that process as possible. At the moment, the media agency is the primary user of the tools. Longer term, we want some of those other clients to use it.
How are you making the industry better?
We are a privacy-first company that focuses solely on the creative. In this world of privacy, creative – and the data around that creative – comes to the forefront. How and where are people interacting? We’ve essentially got privacy-compliant data that nobody else has. Every single ad we’ve done is engagement-led, so we know where and how people engage with them.
We’re already in the area that the industry is moving toward. We want to be the flag bearer for brilliant creative, and using that as the driver into the purchase funnel.
Why should someone want to work for Adludio?
We’re an incredibly forward-thinking business. When the pandemic hit, we realized that the world had changed, and said that we’re moving fully remote forever. So, the idea was to keep the offices as hubs for entertainment but, with the two years of lockdowns, even using them as entertainment hubs hasn’t happened.
We’ve still got an office in the UK, which we’ll use for one or two parties, and the sales team get access to the Century Club but, other than that, we are fully remote. Our working environment is geared around that. We also moved to a four-and-a-half-day week, because we realized productivity is increased when working from home.
If you’re a dev, you get days off to go and work on your own projects. We try to have quarterly meetups. We took them to Gibraltar in December. We’re going to Sheffield soon, which isn’t as sexy. We’re trying to do Barcelona in June. That kind of working environment is pretty important.
We’re a very diverse company. We have employees in 13 countries. We are quite big on the ESG type thing at the moment. So, we’ve got data science teams in Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Kenya. We’ve got a school of grads in Addis Ababa, and we’re bringing them into the global workforce, which gives us access to premium talent that we might not otherwise be able to get.
Why should a business want to partner with you?
It depends on what business wants to partner with us. We have brands who would want to access the ability to deliver fantastic, performance-led campaigns. We have channel partners that can leverage our expertise and our tech to deliver campaigns in that market.
We’re a tech-first company, not a media-first company. So, having that tech is a reason. Also, there’s the fact that we’re quite forward-thinking, not just in how we position the business, but also in how we treat employees. I think it’s important for brands to be associated with forward-thinking companies now.