Back in 2010, advertising industry veterans Rob Gay and Matt Cannon joined forces to launch Venatus Media, a new kind of advertising technology platform which specialised in reaching rapidly growing gaming and entertainment audiences online. Initially operating out of a small cupboard-sized office with just a single heater to keep the team warm, Venatus has since expanded globally, with offices across Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region, and luckily enough heaters for all!
With Venatus’ 12 year anniversary passing in the rear-view mirror, what better time to look back and celebrate the highlights and achievements of our time in the market so far, representing gaming and entertainment audiences across the globe and offering publishers a chance to turn their passion into their profession.
- After previously working together at eType and Accelerator Media, Rob Gay and Matt Cannon combined forces to launch Venatus Media, assuming the roles of CEO and COO respectively. Venatus Media was created with the goal of maximizing revenue for partnered gaming and entertainment web/app publishers, by connecting them with large scale advertisers via a combination of both direct-sale and programmatic campaigns.
- In little time, Venatus' first direct-sale campaign is made to Citroën, who see a unique opportunity in advertising to gaming audiences.
- Venatus partners with popular mobile game developer King, gaining exclusive advertising rights to many popular titles including Candy Crush, Farm Heroes and Bubble Witch. The partnership allows Venatus to increase its reach amongst the casual gaming demographic, allowing advertisers engage with this diverse and sizable audience.
- Venatus expands its mobile gaming portfolio by partnering with app developer Zynga, adding popular titles such as Farmville, Words With Friends and Toon Blast to its growing inventory.
- Venatus hires its first Chief Technical Officer to build Venatus' Programmatic Marketplace, the world's first advertising technology platform connecting the world’s largest SSPs to tailored gaming and entertainment audiences.
- Venatus partners with EA’s mobile games division, adding popular titles such as Plants vs. Zombies, The Sims and Real Racing to its already extensive casual gaming portfolio.
- Venatus continues to develop its programmatic marketplace, launching version 2.0, offering significant improvements to data analysis and usability for our growing clientele of partnered publishers.
- Venatus continues to build upon its extensive audience of gaming and entertainment fans, by partnering with industry heavyweights, Rovio and WhatCulture.
- Venatus becomes an official Google channel partner, gaining exclusive access to educational content, insights and support directly from advertising teams at Google.
- Venatus expands its Core Gaming and Esports audiences, by partnering with one of the world's largest League of Legends sites, Mobafire.com.
- At this time, League of Legends regularly sees 100m active players per month.
- Venatus remains firmly invested in the continual improvement of its programmatic marketplace, which reaches version 3.0 in its 5th year of operation.
- Alongside header bidding optimization and ad-format expansions, Venatus continues to maximize revenues for publishers across the world.
- At the 2017 Effective Mobile Marketing Awards, Venatus wins ‘Most Effective Native Advertising Campaign’ for its work with Rovio and Radox on the launch of their 'Scent Touch' shower gel range. The campaign featured a custom-built integrated level placed within Angry Birds, which saw players take control of infamous characters Red, Chuck and Bomb, to collect all of the branded scent touch bottles.
- Venatus significantly expands its Core Gaming and Esports audience base, with the addition of FIFA rising star Futbin.com and League of Legends giant OP.GG, to its web inventory portfolio.
- Industry magazine ‘Campaign’, ranks Venatus within its top 50 best places to work.
- With the widespread popularity of Esports, in particular League of Legends, within the Asia-Pacific region, Venatus invests in its first office in Seoul, South Korea.
- Venatus receives Gold Certification from advertising standards regulator, The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).
- Venatus is ranked 22nd place in the Global Seller Trust Index by fraud protection, and compliance analytics platform, Pixalate.
- Venatus extends its operations in the Asia-Pacific market, with a new Sydney based office.
- Venatus opens its first office in Paris, France.
- Venatus sees strong potential in North American gaming audiences and opens a New York office for our new president of US Sales and sales team.
- Venatus' first dedicated engineering team is hired in Kyiv, Ukraine.
- Due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the team are now working remotely.
- Venatus extends its North American operations, with the launch of its first West coast office in Los Angeles.
- Venatus enters a strategic partnership with gaming community rising star, Gfinity and in-game advertising experts, Bidstack.
- As the COVID-19 virus rapidly spreads across the world, Venatus employees are advised to stay at home.
- Consequently Gfinity and the gaming industry would experience rapid growth over the following two years of intermittent lockdowns and regulations, which forced people to entertain themselves at home.
- Venatus is audited by ABC, and demonstrates an upholding of their JICWEBS brand safety principles.
- Venatus boosts its in-game advertising offering, by partnering with Frameplay.gg.
- TAG launches its Brand Safety Certification program, of which Venatus becomes a member following an audit of our practices.
- Venatus kicks off Q1 2021 with a strong 38% year-on-year growth.
- Venatus becomes a Google MCM accredited partner and launches version 4.0 of its programmatic marketplace.
- Venatus announces an exclusive partnership with Bloxbiz, expanding its in-game advertising presence to the massively popular online kids game, Roblox, which at the time boasted 192m monthly active players.
- Venatus expands its partnership with rapidly growing gaming publisher Gfinity, to include their latest web inventory, including the popular realsport101.com and stealthoptional.com.
- Venatus receives the IAB UK Gold Standard 2.0 Certification, demonstrating our upholding of key brand safety, privacy and ad-serving standards.
- Venatus celebrates its 10th year in operation, with over 3,200 campaigns delivered for advertisers and over $160m paid out to gaming and entertainment publishers.
- Venatus partners with PlayerWON™ to offer full-screen, in-game sponsored video, expanding its in-game advertising opportunities.
- Mid-market private equity firm, Livingbridge, sees potential in Venatus’ continual growth, and invests in the expansion of global operations to drive dominance in the market.
- Venatus wins ‘Most Effective Entertainment Campaign’, ‘Most Effective Cross-Screen Campaign’ & ‘Most Effective Use of Data’ at the Effective Mobile Marketing Awards 2021, for its ‘CBBC Buzz’ and ‘#KnifeFree’ campaigns.
- M.O.B.A. Network, the team behind League of Legends fan-favorite, mobafire.com and other Esports gaming-helper sites, extends its 5 year long partnership with Venatus.
- Venatus wins ‘Best Esports Gaming and Mobile Sponsorship’ award for its Coco Pops campaign, at The Sponsorship Awards 2022, which saw players take control of Coco the Monkey in an exciting branded minigame.
- Venatus maintains its stronghold within popular kids game Minecraft, which boasts 173m players worldwide, by extending its partnership with popular publisher, Planet Minecraft.
- Venatus passes its 2022 Brand Safety Audit, upholding TAG Certification.
- Experienced entrepreneur and Incisive Media founder, Tim Weller, joins as Chairman of Venatus, to work with alongside founders Rob Gay and Matt Cannon and investors at Livingbridge, to expand global operations and drive future growth.
With blockbuster game releases in continual development, high-performance consoles and graphics technologies pushing the boundaries of entertainment experiences and allegiances of passionate fans across the world, the future certainly looks promising for the gaming industry.
Looking to the future, Venatus aims to capture as much of this industry growth as possible, by providing relevant and topical ads to engaged gaming and entertainment audiences worldwide, whilst continuing to optimise and grow revenues for our partnered publishers.
So hear's to the next 12 years of levelling up at Venatus!
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