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Shopping while playing is Sayollo’s game

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Shopping while playing is Sayollo’s game

Focusing on Gen-Z gamers, the Israeli startup’s CMO Adi Itach says its in-game marketplace platform, gComm, is “the future of commerce and gaming, as a hybrid of these two worlds”

Daniel Farber-Ball | 10:11  03.01.2022
Company: Sayollo

Product: In-game marketplace platform

Raised: $6 million

Round: Seed

Founded: 2018

Founders: Jonathan Attias and Eitan Norel

“Basically, it is a platform that enables shopping without leaving the game,” explained Sayollo chief marketing officer (CMO), Adi Itach, in an interview with CTech. According to her, the Israeli startup, which was founded in 2018 by childhood friends Jonathan Attias and Eitan Norel sees itself as “the future of commerce and gaming, as a hybrid of these two worlds,“ hence, the platform’s name gComm.

“Sayollo started as an in-gaming advertising company,” Itach said. “But the founders realized, pretty early in the game, that advertising was just not enough. Direct to customers (DTC) brands, and brands in general, just want to sell their products and awareness is just not enough anymore. They developed a platform that allows you to not just advertise within mobile games, but to also sell your products.”

Adi Itach, Sayollo CMO. Photo: David "doh doh" Rosen Adi Itach, Sayollo CMO. Photo: David "doh doh" Rosen Adi Itach, Sayollo CMO. Photo: David "doh doh" Rosen

Sayollo focuses on generation-Z end customers, from casual to heavy mobile gamers, bringing brands, and game publishers together, enabling a fast shopping experience for gamers without forcing them to leave the game. “The shopping experience should be very gamified, very quick, which is why we choose low consideration, low priced items so you as a gamer would not have to think twice, and you would purchase the hat, shoes, snacks and just continue to the next level of the game,” Itach emphasized, adding “we allow a full in-game journey from awareness to conversion, we build video billboards inside games that allow advertising and bringing awareness to the brand or products. Between levels, or when you pause a game we put a pop-up, a small one, not a full-screen pop-up, which opens a purchasing screen.”

“There are about three billion gamers who play on mobile every year, so you can imagine the potential in that, and about $2.2 billion spent on virtual goods such as swords and crowns and lives, so you can imagine the potential in that also,” noted Itach, pointing to the possible brand-exposure and existing actively-purchasing audience. “We get a lot of positive feedback and a lot of interest in that and the questions we are asked a lot are ‘how are we planning to build this marketplace? Is it about going to brands or going to publishers?’ and the answer is just like any other marketplace, you build it from both ends and it is a very delicate balance.”

“You have to bear in mind that shopping while you play, between levels, is a whole different ball game compared to shopping while scrolling on social media,” Itach said when asked if Sayollo aims to reach audience targeting levels similar to the ones offered by Internet giants. “It has to be quick, has to be low consideration items, and it has to be super relevant for you. So we do want to know your purchasing habits through our platform, know what you are interested in or less interested in so we could bring you the most relevant, quick, and fun purchasing experience there is, but it is not at the level of other social media platforms.”

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To date, Sayollo raised $6 million in preseed and seed rounds, but it is in midst of an A round. “We have more than 40 brands that joined the platform in the last three months, and over 35 games implemented the gComm platform into their games, which is a huge deal in the gaming ecosystem,” she said. “You have to remember it is a first of its kind platform, it does not exist anywhere else in the world, and in that sense, we are very competitor free, so for us, to have that much faith from publishers and brands is very exciting.”

While she admitted more work needs to be done, Itach is extremely enthusiastic about where the company is, and what it has been able to accomplish so far. “Right now we are learning a lot from brands coming in, and from publishers, and the feedback we are getting from gamers. We reduced purchasing time from about 30 seconds to between eight to ten, which is a lot,” she proudly noted. “We feel we brought some new added value to the gaming ecosystem.”

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