At 19 years of age, Brian Wong was one of the youngest people to ever receive venture capital funding. With the money, he co-founded Kiip -- and mobile advertising was changed forever.
Just ask Verizon (NYSE:VZ), which is both an investor in Kiip and a client.
Why are Verizon and other biggies excited about this platform? Kiip rewards people when they've achieved certain milestones in games, fitness apps, or even mundane tasks like driving a car. The reward comes at a moment when the user is feeling exultant and, presumably, more likely to feel positively about some sort of branding.
Our roving reporter talked with Brian at the 2014 International CES in Las Vegas. In this video, Brian explains more about how Kiip works.
A full transcript follows the video.
Rex Moore: We're at the 2014 International CES, right outside the convention center, and a great sunset behind us. It's my pleasure to be speaking with Brian Wong, the owner/founder of Kiip, a mobile advertising network. Brian, explain -- you were one of the youngest ever to receive venture funding?
Brian Wong: Yes, I was. I was 19 when I raised my first round.
Moore: Now you're an old man of 22?
Wong: Absolutely -- and legal to gamble now!
Moore: Awesome -- we'll go out afterward!
Brian, tell us a little bit about Kiip. It seems to me to be a unique and actually an engaging way to advertise, [for mobile].
Wong: Kiip is very simple. It takes moments of achievement in apps and games that people use already -- think leveling up in a game, finishing a to-do on a to-do list, logging a run. What we realized is these moments are all comprised of significant emotions. Instead of socking people in the face with an ad, we said, why not actually reward you and acknowledge what you had done?
Our rewards are very unique in that they are serendipitous. People don't know when they're going to get them. Just do the thing you're doing already, and we're there to reward and delight you.
Moore: Tell me a little bit about some of the companies that are involved with this.
Wong: Yes, a few of our investors are publicly traded, like American Express and Interpublic Group, which is an advertising holding company, and Verizon. Luckily, those three are our customers as well -- it's good to have both.
But it really is a combination of both app developers and the brands, that are our customers. The app developers are the ones that integrate us into their apps -- think an exercise app like a Nexercise, or a game like Cut the Rope. Basically, when you hit those moments, then a brand can be there.
You could have Starbucks reward you with a free latte. You could have Sour Patch Kids reward you with a free bag of candy. There are many different ways to acknowledge those achievements.