Engage:BDR Limited (ASX:EN1) Co-Founder & Executive Chairman Ted Dhanik explains how his experience with MySpace formed the foundations of establishing engage:BDR Limited (ASX:EN1) and how the established advertising technology company is now using platforms such as Facebook Inc.’s (FB) Instagram to leverage from global trends in digital influencer marketing ahead of listing on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX:ASX). Speaking with The Capital Network's Lelde Smits at Circular Quay, Sydney.
Lelde Smits: Hello I’m Lelde Smits for The Capital Network. Joining me from engage:BDR; digital advertising company is its co-founder and executive chairman is Ted Dhanik. Ted welcome.
Ted Dhanik: Thanks, Lelde.
Lelde Smits: Now Ted we’re here at Sydney’s Harbour, you’re about to list on the Australian Securities Exchange. Can you tell me who is the company and what do you do?
Ted Dhanik: Engage:BDR is a digital advertising company focused on providing emerging innovative solutions to its clients.
Lelde Smits: Awesome and where are you based?
Ted Dhanik: We’re based in West Hollywood, which is the heart of Silicon Beach.
Lelde Smits: It certainly is. It’s got a global reputation for that. And I want to know more about your background. So obviously you have come from Myspace which is like the original social media. Can you tell me how you got started in Myspace and how it set you up to do what you are doing now?
Ted Dhanik: Sure. So, the original influencers I guess were called the tastemakers back then, when we were at Myspace. I was at Myspace from the beginning and worked closely with Tom Anderson, who is the executive, non-executive director on engage BDR board as well.
Lelde Smits: And I have to interpret many people don’t know this but Tom is the Tom. As in for those who have their Myspace accounts the guy who comes up as your first friend.
Ted Dhanik: Yeah.
Lelde Smits: Tell me what Tom did and what you did with Myspace, working with the tastemakers.
Ted Dhanik: Sure. Yeah Tom was the, I guess, founder of social media. Right. So, he founded social media and he was the co-founder of Myspace. So that was his thing and he was everyone’s first friend on Myspace. His photo was actually the most seen photo in history, more than the Mona Lisa which is fascinating.
Lelde Smits: That’s an incredible claim to fame.
Ted Dhanik: No, it’s true, it’s insane. My job at Myspace was working with influencers, or at the time social media tastemakers. It included local tastemakers like bands etc., also other types of tastemakers like celebrities and studios.
Lelde Smits: A ton of folks. Ted, you have arguably been in this longer than anyone so how did you go from being at Myspace to engage:BDR? What was the origins of engage:BDR, where did you see the opportunity?
Ted Dhanik: Sure. During Myspace’s last couple years, we saw a huge opportunity in helping Myspace monetise its media better. So, we started engage:BDR outside of Myspace like quickly after. I left in 2008 and we started engage:BDR in 2009. It helped initially, it helped Myspace which was a publisher, monetise its 7 billion impressions better than it was doing at the time.
Lelde Smits: So, ted you have outlined the journey from Myspace to engage:BDR. Now the Australians Securities Exchange, what are you going to be focused on as a listed company?
Ted Dhanik: Sure Lelde. engage:BDR capital raise has been completed and the IPO is imminent in the next couple days. We are very excited. The capital raise will allow us to grow our core business which is the hyper growth mode will allow us to grow that very quickly. In addition to that we will be exploring acquisitions opportunities immediately as well.
Lelde Smits: Sounds like quite the opportunity. Thank you for outlining today and look forward to the next update.
Ted Dhanik: Thank you so much.