Bots Are Yet To Create Additional AdTech Unicorns!


• By Avihai Michaeli •


The power of the established industry giant presents a unique challenge for ad tech startups. It’s tough to compete with their resources, and that alone made many investors ignore various Adtech companies. The 2017 Bots revolution could mark a huge change.


In the recent years we saw many Adtech companies, trying to escape the phrase “AdTech” because the sector is out-of-favor to many investors.  Many rebranded themselves as “MarTech” companies.  This seemed like inevitable and smart move in the face of investor worry.  But rebranding alone won’t fix any business.

A real change is needed. The virtual assistances (Bots) era makes is possible. In fact, this “loophole” is exactly what giant companies like Google fear of. They don’t seem to have immediate response to the challenge. In his first 2017 interview it was said that Google’s CEO didn’t have a very convincing answer for a potentially huge weakness in its business.


Google’s CEO didn’t have a very convincing answer for a potentially huge weakness in its business.


What is this Loophole? As I mentioned in my previous article , the “old school” of internet searches changes. The Voice technology via Virtual Assistance, is transforming computing. Unlike typing a written search, which apparently most users did using Google, asking your Bots a voice or written question will get it to look for the answers anywhere its creator decided it should.

Moreover, if the answers to the users questions are either read to them, by their Virtual assistance, or written back by a ChatBot using any messaging App, the users are not exposed to the Google Ads, which are usually based on top of any search at its website. A fact which can undermine the Google major revenue source.

The opportunity Bots created, to gain users traffic which used to be mainly Google’s, is seen by huge Smartphone players. Microsoft, for example, puts Cortana its “Mega Meta Bot” in the Android lock screen. Hoping users will speak to it and answers will be brought from Bing, not Google. Additional other huge players like Huawei and Samsung are not planning to use the Google bot as their main one, guiding the users traffic to their own resources.


So where is the opportunity for Adtch Startups?

In both short and long terms.


In the long term:

1. Viral Ads; content and context – How is it best to incorporate ads within bots? When, Where and, especially how should ads be used without annoying the users? Those question were not yet solved.

2. Ads with Sound and no vision? In a viral world, when users will mainly speak to their bots located within their Smartphone, will ads be only heard or viewed? What will make the user look into the screen?


In the shorter term:

1. ChatBots interacted within messaging Apps– True, it will take quite a while until most users will speak to their Smart phones. In the meanwhile, Chatbots within messaging Apps platforms wishes to take the users conversation. FaceBook, WeChat, Kik, Skype and other Messaging Apps becomes hosts to tens of thousands of Bots. Among the Million dollar questions are:

a. Can a startup create a ChatBot that will make users “want” to interact with Ads?

b. How will bots incorporate ads while interacting with users?

2. ChatBots and Ads – Are Bots a gateway to Ads or is it Ad-blocker?


Those and many other questions remain unanswered. A Startup that will find the way to get users to interact with Ads, without effecting badly the user experience in a radical way, will probably set the tune and begin to gain market grasp.

Judging from the recent year, It seems that Google way of dealing with conversations within messaging apps, is trying to understand what the user writes using their Gboard- A top notch mobile keyboard that was also made for IOS users . This step was also adopted by Microsoft who acquired the SwiftKey Mobile Keyboard, and Pinterest who acquired Fleksy .

True, buying Mobile keyboard companies could only be made by Giant companies. However, a deeper understanding into the Bots and Chatbots world is the key. A startup who will crack the formula of the right ways to interact Bots with ads, could become a true unicorn!



Guest author: Avihai Michaeli 

Startups Mentoring – Value Enhancement for Funds & M&A / Co-Ceo @ ai type

View his LinkedIn profile

Picture of the article by Marishka-Yu


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