Interactive Audio Advertising Startup Adtonos Raises $2M
Digital and interactive audio advertising startup AdTonos has raised $2 million in a seed funding round led by BlackSheep Fund and ProtosNext. Adtonos monetized audio streams through advertising, including interactive ads played through smart speakers and mobile devices via its YoursTruly platform.
The startup’s tech portfolio extends to creating ads for games that don’t interrupt play and ad targeting technology for podcast and broadcast audio through its Sandstorm and Twilight products, respectively. AdTonos is best known for its interactive advertising, which began with an Audi commercial in the UK at the end of 2020. Listeners using a Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa-powered smart speaker were asked if they wanted to book a test drive. For those who said yes, the AI would determine the nearest Audi dealer to their location and begin the booking process. The British startup plans to leverage the seed round for a larger Series A funding next year that will help it expand in the U.S. and widen its services for podcasts and mobile games.
“The future of digital audio advertising is now,” AdTonos CEO Michal Marcinik said. “I am happy to welcome our new investors to such a successful business. I am very satisfied that they join the company that, thanks to the efforts of the entire team, achieved such tremendous growth organically as our preseed funding was spent years ago already. Thanks to our new investors’ brilliant network in Europe and the U.S., I am convinced that our experience in the advertising industry, combined with the qualifications of our team, will enable us to maintain our ambitious growth plan and repeat its success of 10x annual growth in the following years.”
Interactive and targeted audio advertising has been around for a while but has seen a recent uptick in adoption. Pizza Hut debuted actionable audio ads this summer through Say It Now, another British advertising technology developer and popular podcast ad provider Acast set up a tool to match ads to the topic in specific podcast episodes back in May. There’s reason to think such ads will be a boon for brands. Approximately half of smart speaker owners who hear advertising through their device have a positive reaction, according to the most recent NPR and Edison Research Smart Audio Report, and plenty find them actually more compelling than when they hear the same ads elsewhere.