Tel Aviv, Israel – In-game advertising platform Anzu.io has announced the conclusion of its funding series, successfully raising US$9M to aid the company’s global expansion of its in-game advertising platform, with the help of venture capital groups BITKRAFT Ventures and HBSE Ventures, as well as marketing services organization WPP and Sony Innovation Fund, the corporate venture capital arm of multinational conglomerate Sony.
The funding series has also seen the participation of venture capitals Alumni Ventures Group and Goal Ventures, as well as angel investors Marc Merrill, co-founder, co-chairman, and former co-CEO of Riot Games, and Dylan Collins, co-founder and CEO of SuperAwesome, a kid-safe ad platform recently acquired by Epic Games.
Anzu.io’s funding series coincides with the increasing popularity and market ‘boom’ of the gaming industry. Statistics from market intelligence group Mordor Intelligence estimate that the gaming industry’s value is expected to be around US$257B by 2025.
“Gaming is one activity that has exploded over the past year and increasingly an important advertising channel. In partnership with Anzu, together with our agencies, we can make it simpler for them to reach the growing audience in the esports and gaming space,” said Mark Read, CEO of WPP.
Through the accumulated funding, Anzu.io will be pushing its presence globally starting with the United States, followed by Singapore and China, and other core locations to be announced. With partner brands including game publishers Ubisoft, Lion Castle, and Nacon and global brands Pepsico, Samsung, American Eagle, and Vodafone, Anzu.io will feature advertisements of partner brands through programmatic technology blending of real-world ads into video games, esports tournaments, and live streams, enhancing games’ realism and transforming game objects into valuable advertising opportunities.
“Anzu has been delivering the technology they promised and growing their industry footprint. We are excited to join this funding round and support Anzu, entering a new phase of growth in in-game advertising. The company’s gamer-first attitude will enable developers to access new business models and bring advertisers closer to gamer audiences without disturbing gameplay,” says Gen Tsuchikawa, CEO and chief investment officer at Innovation Growth Ventures, Sony Innovation Fund.
Meanwhile, Itamar Benedy, co-founder and CEO at Anzu commented, “We are proud to have global leaders in advertising, entertainment, gaming, esports, and venture capital invest in Anzu’s next stage of growth. These trailblazers are the perfect combination of strategic partners to help us maintain our dominating position as we enter 2021.”
For Jens Hilgers, founding general partner at BITKRAFT, their recent participation at Anzu.io’s funding series means redefining the aspect of modern in-game advertising.
“Since our initial investment, the Anzu team has built the most sophisticated platform to deliver blended in-game advertising at scale in the higher-end games segment. The impressive line up of game integrations combined with brands executing unique campaigns on the platform has validated Anzu’s market position and technology,” Hilgers commented.