Oren Harnevo is the Co-Founder and CEO of Eyeview Digital, a company which provides tools to localize instream advertising. Previously, Oren has worked on product development for an online gaming company that went public. We recently spoke with Oren about his current company.
The Makegood: Oren, you previously played a role in leading the product for a European online gaming and entertainment solutions provider that IPO’d on the London stock exchange in 2006. What was it like to work in product development at such a critical time for the company?
OH: As you can imagine, it was pretty exciting! Being part of a company as it scales up exponentially is an experience like no other. We grew to more than 30 million users, with hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. Working in such a fast paced environment forces you to focus on the core product and solving critical issues. Now I’m bringing that same focus to Eyeview.
The Makegood: As the co-founder and CEO of EyeView, a personalized video technology provider, your vision for the company began more than 5 years before the company was founded. What made 2007 the right time?
OH: It actually began a few years earlier than that. When I was in school, I pursued a self-directed double major in cinema and computer science. As a film and video enthusiast, I could see the potential for the online video market to grow. As a student of computer science, I wanted to create a product that focused on enabling new levels of creativity in video. Tal Riesenfeld, one of our other co-founders, was already working at a little company called YouTube. Together we started sharing ideas, and Eyeview was born. The first thing we did was bring in our friend Gal Barnea, who was the smartest programmer we knew, and we started building the company. We presented our business plan at Harvard Business School, where Tal was studying for his MBA, and we won first place in the 2008 Business Plan Competition, and that’s when things started to take off.
The Makegood: In the beginning of 2012, Eyeview Digital raised $5.2M to support continued growth. Can you tell us what will be your focus for the next 12 months?
OH: We are primarily investing in accelerating our growth. We will also continue to develop cutting edge technology for advancing creativity in video. Even as the video ad market is maturing as a business, the tools of the trade are still relatively primitive. When it comes to advertising in premium video, traditional TV commercials still dominate the landscape. They don’t take advantage of the data-rich ecosystem that we operate in. We intend to change that. Our goal is to change how people think about video advertising, and provide our clients with a technology solution that opens the doors to a new level of creativity.
Over the course of 2012, we’ll be growing our sales team and expanding our footprint into key media markets. We are also very focused on understanding the user experience when it comes to video consumption across multiple screens in order to develop the most effective advertising products for reaching that growing audience.
The Makegood: Are there some recent successful campaigns that you can tell us about?
OH: Fortunately there’s plenty to talk about! We just completed doing the IAB Case Study Road Show, where we presented campaigns with Mazda and Land Rover. Both were localizing campaigns in multiple markets, leveraging their Tier 1 branding assets in their Tier 2 local campaigns. We also recently wrapped up a campaign with Viacom’s CMT where we helped them promote the launch of two new shows. Every viewer that saw an ad was told specifically what channel on their cable system to tune in to, and that was done with just one ad tag across hundreds of markets and cable systems. And we’re currently working with McDonalds delivering different offers at different times of the day across dozens of markets, again, with just one ad tag. And all of these campaigns integrate real time data, local offer, custom voice-overs, and look as good as a TV commercial, rather than a distracting Flash layer sitting on top of a video.
The Makegood: Thanks, Oren.