Each week, we’re profiling one promising company that’s been selected for SCALE – our early-stage startup growth program. Catch up with 60 of the world’s hottest startups at TNW NYC in New York on November 16th.
This week, we bring you the header bidding solution, Bidio. On their platform, video producers can upload original content and set minimum bids, then brands compete for exclusive sponsorship rights.
Read our Q&A with Bidio below, and be sure to catch them at TNW NYC this November!
Tell us what you do in two sentences
Bidio helps independent creators get sponsored without compromising authenticity. Using our cost-effective system, advertisers bid for logo placements within select videos, and they only pay for verified results: watch-time and click-throughs.
What’s your origin story? How did the company get started?
While studying digital media at UNC-Chapel Hill, James Waugh realized publishers were collaborating with brands to produce more and more sponsored content. As a result, many creative agencies devolved into clickbait machines, so they could report higher click-through rates. Bidio was originally inspired to solve this problem.
After graduating from the journalism school, James worked as the Content Marketing Manager for Lea(R)n, which allowed him to experience the challenges faced by modern advertisers. Regularly producing quality videos is expensive, and it’s nearly impossible to buy attention.
Earlier this year, James formed Bidio and partnered with NOVO to build a minimum viable product. Bidio recently joined Launch Chapel Hill, Kenan-Flagler’s accelerator program, and we hired boots on the ground in New York. Now, our growing team is ready to SCALE!
Who is your biggest rival and why are you better than them?
Conceptually, it’s advertising. People seem to think ads will always interrupt our lives, but ad blockers and Bidio are changing that reality. Our unique business model protects consumer choice and privacy, while connecting sponsors with engaging videos. This enables brands to leverage user-generated content, which people watch on purpose. Overall, we give creators the power to set a minimum bid for each video.
Get rich or change the world – which is more important and why?
We are committed to changing the digital media industry. Our goal is to empower independent artists, journalists and entertainers, so they can maximize revenue by offering exclusive sponsorship rights to the highest bidder. That way, genuine creators – musicians, filmmakers, comedians, explorers and innovators – can break down the walled gardens of the internet.
Dishonest influencer marketing is another huge problem, because the FTC struggles to regulate online activity. Paid testimonials are bogus, especially without proper disclosure. Fortunately, Bidio facilitates automatic disclosure via logo placements indicating sponsorship.
Tell us one weird fact about a member of your team
We are fascinated by the mind-body problem, quantum psychology and Giulio Tononi’s integrated information theory of consciousness. In fact, Bidio’s logo was inspired by a symbol from the last page of Tononi’s book, Phi: A Voyage from the Brain to the Soul.
If you weren’t working on Bidio, what would you be doing?
Our team loves to create! If Bidio didn’t exist, all of us would probably get back into freelance work, providing various creative services, such as content marketing, web design, video production and software engineering.
What are you hoping to get out of SCALE?
We are excited to share Bidio with influencers and investors at TNW NYC. Growing our marketplace will require time and resolve, but hopefully, attending this conference can help us flip the script of traditional influencer marketing. Ultimately, we hope to change how creators and brands think about sponsorship.
Catch Bidio and many more of the world’s most promising startups at TNW NYC on November 16th.