Christian Facey co-founded Audiomob in 2020 alongside Wilfrid Obeng and sits at the helm as the CEO. Under Christian and Wilfrid’s leadership, Audiomob is recognized globally in the advertising industry, with offices in the UK, New York, and Abu Dhabi. As a VC company backed by Google, LightSpeed Ventures, and Makes Fund, Audiomob closed with over $16 million in funding and is valued at over $110 million.
Christian’s entrepreneurship and success with Audiomob saw him listed in Forbes 30 Under 30, and Hurun UK Under 30, as well as winning the Start-up Entrepreneur of the Year award. He also runs a mentorship program that supports young black students interested in business.
Wilfrid Obeng co-founded Audiomob in 2020 alongside Christian Facey, where he oversees the company’s technological direction as the CTO. Under Wilfrid and Christians’s leadership, Audiomob is recognized globally in the advertising industry, with offices in the UK, New York, and Abu Dhabi. As a VC company backed by Google, LightSpeed Ventures, and Makes Fund, Audiomob closed with over $16 million in funding and is valued at over $110 million.
As a passionate inventor, Wilfrid has talked about technology at conferences with Google, TikTok, Linklaters, and the House of Lords, to name a few. Wilfrid is also a patron of the prestigious Amos Bursary Committee, where he consults the board on their technology and social media strategies.
Founded by ‘Forbes 30 Under 30’ awardees Christian Facey and Wilfrid Obeng, Audiomob isa leadingglobaladtechsolutionproviderforthemobilegamingmarket.Backedbysome of the largest investors in adtech, such as Google, LightSpeed Ventures, and Makers Fund, Audiomob has raised over $16 million in funding and is valued at over $110 million.
Audiomob’s patented technology allows game developers to seamlessly insert audio adverts into their games. By focusing on audio-only adverts, developers can monetize their games without disrupting the player’s gaming experience. This creates a better ad ecosystem for developers, advertisers, and players. One that gives players more control over when and how they experience in-game ads, encouraging them to Play OnTM uninterrupted for longer.
Audiomob’s industry-leading ad solutions earned it the StartUp of the Year award in 2022. In the same year, Audiomob received a nomination for the renowned Drum Awards, in collaboration with Proctor & Gamble.
1. Tell us about your company
Founded by Christian Facey and Wilfrid Obeng, Audiomob is a leading global adtech solution provider for the mobile gaming market. Backed by some of the largest investors in adtech, such as Google, LightSpeed Ventures, and Makers Fund, Audiomob has raised over $16 million in funding and is valued at over $110 million.
At our core, we give game developers the tools needed to insert audio ads into their mobile games seamlessly. By focusing on audio ads only, we provide a better gaming experience for players, while still giving advertisers access to a hyper-engaged audience in one of the fastest-growing global industries, mobile gaming.
To power our business model we created our patented volume detection technology which only we provide. Volume detection monitors the audio level of the user’s device while an ad is playing. If the device’s volume is below 30% the ad is paused and the user receives an ‘unmute prompt’. The user can either manually increase the volume or click the unmute prompt to automatically raise the volume above 30%.
This technology also detects audio from apps playing in the background (e.g., Spotify, Apple Music, and Radio). The background app’s audio is temporarily lowered or paused for the duration of the ad. Our proprietary technology is our innovative solution to a long-standing issue for advertisers; now advertisers know for sure whether an ad has been listened to, paving the way for more accurate tracking and monitoring of how their ads are performing.
Our industry-leading ad solutions earned us the StartUp of the Year award in 2022. In the same year, we were nominated for the Drum Awards, in collaboration with Proctor & Gamble. As we expand globally, we’ve partnered with Katz Media Group, the largest media broker in the US, and Choueiri Group, the largest media broker in MENA.
2. Why from your perspective do you believe diverse storytelling is critical to driving business growth?
No matter what your product or service is, you must build a narrative around it. Something that feels human, and relatable, and can speak to as wide an audience as possible. You’re essentially looking for that human element that helps audiences not only understand what you are offering them but also connect with your brand.
More than this though, your brand has to reflect the world you live in. While it’s all well and good to market your product/service with pictures and videos of smiling faces, if they all look the same, or represent only one walk of life, you risk alienating/isolating your overall audience. This in turn can have a knock-on effect on the industry itself.
If your brand looks as though it only represents a certain type of demographic, not only is it a potential financial risk (this of course can depend on the nature of your product/service), but it’s also a risk to the company culture and your brand’s ability to hire & retain talent. Take the tech industry for example, where only 15% of workers are from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) backgrounds.
As a company founded by two black entrepreneurs in a tech-heavy industry where ‘BME’ is not synonymous with being a ‘CEO’ or a ‘business owner,’ systemic challenges had to be overcome from the outset. As such we understand how important it is to build a company that is diverse inside and out. By doing so we attract a more diverse pool of talent, talent that is often overlooked in the tech industry.
3. How do you think brands can better work to support diverse-owned media?
In short, they can invest. Investing in diverse-owned media does a lot to help level the playing field. However, it has to be a long-term systemic change that promotes continued growth instead of a single gesture. This means allocating budgets and resources to provide continued support to diverse media outlets.
However it is not enough to simply invest financially, otherwise, there is a risk that it becomes more of a ‘check box’ exercise. Brands should act as more advocates, regularly collaborating with and sponsoring diverse media outlets advertising on their platforms. Doing so not only helps to raise visibility but also promotes more diverse storytelling so diverse media outlets tell their story within the industry and educate consumers.
Moreover, seeking feedback from diverse-owned media outlets and communities is essential to better understand their needs and challenges. Continued collaboration can play a significant role in fostering diversity and inclusivity in the media landscape.
Brands should also look at their own leadership and decision-making structures. Promote diversity within your organization’s leadership positions and ensure that diverse perspectives are included in strategic decisions. Ultimately, while important, funding is not enough to truly support diverse-owned funding. Without practical steps to provide continued support to help monitor progress, identify gaps, and ultimately promote diverse-owned media progress is likely to remain short-term.
4. What do you hope for the future of diverse-owned media?
The future of diverse-owned media holds great promise for increased representation, visibility, and economic sustainability. Ideally, we want a media landscape that authentically portrays a wide range of voices and communities, fostering more accurate depictions of society. As well as greater visibility of diverse-owned media outlets to normalize diversity and inclusion.
Economic sustainability is crucial, as diverse-owned media must secure steady revenue streams, advertising, and financial support to ensure their long-term viability. Empowerment and amplification are key goals; diverse media outlets should be on equal footing across the industry, sparking, providing platforms for underrepresented voices, and sparking social change.
This ability to help shape cultural norms, challenge stereotypes, and promote social justice, needs to be a critical aspect of diverse-owned media outlets. Regular collaboration with mainstream media organizations is expected to bridge gaps and bring diverse perspectives to wider audiences, fostering understanding and empathy.
Education initiatives run by diverse-owned media should continue and be expanded upon, as they play such a significant role in educating the public about diversity, equity, and inclusion. The idea is that these outlets contribute to greater societal awareness and empathy.
Diverse-owned media would also be driving for positive changes to policies driving positive shifts in industry practices, including fair representation and anti-discrimination measures. Diverse leadership within the media industry is also sought after to ensure more equitable decision-making and content creation.
Ultimately, we see the future of diverse-owned media as one that continues to break barriers, challenge stereotypes, and contribute to a more inclusive, equitable, and globally impactful media landscape.
5. What advice would you give marketers who want to work with you to authentically tell diverse stories?
Firstly, it’s essential to incorporate diverse talent both front-facing and behind the scenes to provide diverse voices and experiences. This enriches the storytelling process and brings authenticity. It’s important that your internal work culture is one that reflects a desire to be inclusive and not just outwardly appear to be inclusive.
In-depth research and understanding are paramount. Take the time to comprehensively learn about the cultures, histories, and communities you intend to portray. This helps in avoiding stereotypes and misconceptions and allows you to create narratives that resonate with authenticity.
Inclusivity in decision-making is crucial. Ensure that diverse voices are part of the entire creative process. This helps in eliminating biases and ensuring that the storytelling is respectful and accurate.
Avoid tokenism, where diversity is included superficially. Instead, integrate diverse characters and narratives seamlessly into your storytelling. These elements should feel intrinsic to the plot and not forced.
Cultural sensitivity is a must. There are many nuances when it comes to cultural sensitivity so take the time to listen and take on feedback from those within your company on how to find out what positive changes can be made.
Remember that storytelling should serve a purpose beyond diversity. Stories should be meaningful, relatable, and capable of resonating with a broad audience. They should foster empathy, understanding, and a connection with the characters and their experiences.
Accountability and continuous learning are key. Mistakes may happen, but the commitment to learning from them is critical. Invest in ongoing education on diversity and inclusion and adjust your storytelling approach accordingly.
Lastly, make diversity and inclusion a long-term commitment. Ensure that these values are integral to your brand’s mission and consistently reflected in your content.