Agentio aspires to be the trade desk for content-generated revenue.

Wednesday marked the announcement that the startup, which operates a programmatic platform for purchasing and selling sponsored creator-read advertisements integrated with YouTube content, had secured $4.25 million in seed capital.

Arthur Leopold, former president of celebrity video-sharing application Cameo, and Jonathan Meyers, former engineer at Spotify and key developer of the platform’s automated marketing solutions, are the founders of Agentio. Agentio is a self-service platform that essentially integrates Cameo’s interface for purchasing sponsored content from personalities and Spotify’s automated ad technology. Additionally, contextual recommendations regarding which creator content is pertinent to an advertiser are provided by Agentio.

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“From the standpoint of a brand, this is analogous to purchasing media on Facebook, Snapchat, or TikTok,” said Leopold, co-founder and CEO of the organization.

It is possible to compare Agentio to a YouTube creator ad network, as it functions as both a DSP and SSP, and its interface resembles certain elements of programmatic purchasing. As opposed to operating auctions for ad inventory or integrating with external demand or supply partners, it serves as a marketplace where YouTube creators make direct purchases.

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For programmatic ad positions, YouTube creators desiring automated advertisements can utilize Google AdSense, a platform that exclusively functions with pre-roll and mid-roll videos. Advertisements embedded within the video content itself cannot be sold via AdSense.

Typically, creators must collaborate directly with a buyer, who is commonly a brand account manager, to secure approval for the final advertisement spot prior to its integration into the creator’s video content, in order to sell host-read ads. However, such a strategy is plainly not scalable.

Leopold estimates that as a consequence, YouTube creators sell host-read ads, which are by far the most profitable ad unit, on a mere 10% to 25% of their inventory. MrBeast, a prominent YouTuber, was even required to post a notice on LinkedIn stating that he was seeking advertisers for the fourth quarter, according to Leopold.

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Conversely, regarding the purchasing aspect, Leopold asserted that one of the top three advertisers on YouTube informed him that sponsored creator content yields a 15-times greater return on investment compared to conventional mid-roll advertisements.

This means that advertisers desire host-read ads, which appear to resonate with audiences, but neither brands nor creators can purchase or sell them at scale. As a result, Agentio employs programmatic technology to facilitate the automation of these inventory transactions.

READ MORE: The Power Of Programmatic

Google and Apple Announce Their Attribution Strategies; on Agentio’s open marketplace, Holdco Holdup Creators may list ad positions for forthcoming content. Consumers have the option to select the creator inventory they wish to acquire or utilize the AI-powered algorithm of the platform to identify contextual connections. The creator records the spot and submits it to the platform for the advertiser’s review after the ad is purchased.

Currently in beta, the platform anticipates its general release by the end of the calendar year. Prioritizing the onboarding of creators whose content is pertinent to the advertisers presently utilizing YouTube, Agentio is refining its proposal towards these advertisers. (At this time, Leopold declined to identify any advertiser clients.)

Spending strategies

The funding will be utilized by Agentio to expand its platform, which is presently only compatible with YouTube, to include Twitch, Discord, and Snapchat, in addition to increasing its workforce.

At present, the organization, which was established in March, comprises six personnel, two of whom are also founders. Recruiting for sales and partnerships, in addition to additional engineers to develop the platform and its contextual recommendation algorithm, are hiring priorities.

VC firms Craft Ventures and AlleyCorp, the latter of which was co-founded by former DoubleClick CEO and President Kevin P. Ryan, co-led the funding round during the summer.

Steven Galanis, co-founder of Cameo, Michael Sugar, co-founder of SoulCycle and YouTube creator Cody Ko, and a number of executives from agencies, brands, and ad tech companies, in addition to the venture capital firms Antler, Protagonist, and Permanent Capital, are among the additional investors.

Agentio identifies a portion of the approximately $31 billion in ad spend directed through Google AdSense towards YouTube’s programmatic inventory as an imminent growth opportunity. However, in two to three years, the organization intends to have expanded its operations beyond YouTube and into additional ventures.

Leopold stated, “We are designing this to be cross-platform and functional in any language and market.” “When one considers organizations such as The Trade Desk, it becomes apparent that Agentio has the potential to attain the same level of prominence as these advertising platforms due to the efficacy, genuineness, and performance of this advertising unit.”


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