Eko: Powering the future of interactive video
Today we are excited to see our portfolio company Eko announce a strategic joint venture with Walmart to develop original, interactive content. The JV will help Walmart engage with customers in a more meaningful way through interactive storytelling, and it speaks to the power of what Eko has built.
Eko founder Yoni Bloch was already a successful musician in Israel when he and his team began developing the technology behind the company. Originally, they hoped to create a tool that would enable Yoni and other musicians to produce music videos in which the viewer could choose what happened throughout the story.
The team at Eko understood that by giving viewers some control over the story, creators could drastically increase lean-forward engagement and viewership. That idea was appealing not just to musicians, but to other visual storytellers — not to mention major brands, studios, and owners of IP that were looking for new ways of engaging with consumers.
User-driven, choose-your-own-adventure-style video is technically difficult to film, edit, and distribute. To solve this, Eko has built an end-end solution that includes editing and publishing tools, along with a video player that powers the entire experience. It also has a community of tens of thousands of creators signed up to build interactive experiences on its platform.
At a time when it’s harder than ever for advertising, media, and entertainment companies to connect with their customers, Eko has built an entire ecosystem for interactive entertainment.
Since our investment nearly four years ago, Eko has signed up numerous Fortune 500 clients and established multiple partnerships with entertainment companies to develop interactive series and features like That Moment When and #WarGames. The joint venture with Walmart just provides further validation of the company’s platform and approach.
To learn more about Eko and W*E Interactive Ventures, check out Yoni’s Q&A on the Walmart blog.