Building an Epic Company Culture: Kevel Joins Startup Savants



Everyone knows that monopolies can be bad for consumers, but they also can hurt companies trying to promote their products. Today, the online ad space is dominated by big companies like Google and Facebook, to the detriment of small businesses. James Avery joins Startup Savants to talk about how his startup aims to give advertisers more options.

  • Startup Savants is a business podcast that tells the stories behind up-and-coming startups.
  • James Avery joins Startup Savants to discuss launching his adtech startup.
  • Kevel helps publishers build their own custom ad platforms without relying on Google Adwords or other big players.

Drawing on Software Engineering Experience

Using his background in software engineering, Avery co-founded a startup called TekPub, which helped developers continue learning and building their skills through high-quality screencasts. While managing TekPub’s advertising network, he soon came to appreciate the near monopoly that Facebook and a few other large companies have in the online advertising space. This gave Avery the idea of developing software for an adtech company. 

“I wrote all the software to run this ad network [for TekPub],” he told Startup Savants during his interview. “And over time, I realized that the software was a much more compelling business than the ad network. And I thought I could actually take that software and turn it into a full-time job.” Thus, Kevel was born.

Leveling the Playing Field of Online Ads

In his interview with Startup Savants, Avery said Kevel helps companies quickly build custom ad platforms for sponsored listing, internal promotions, native ads, and more, using Kevel’s infrastructure APIs. This allows businesses to drive new revenue in a user-first way. Avery told Startup Savants that he wants to allow every online retailer and publisher to add privacy-focused ad revenue streams and “take back the internet from Google, Amazon, Facebook, and other digital monopolies.”

“I have a passion for what the internet is and that it’s free to use, and no matter where you are in the world or your economic background, you can find amazing diverse sets of information and ideas on the internet,” he said. “And that’s really made possible through advertising, whether we like it or not. I’m really passionate about building the systems that enable companies to be prosperous internet businesses.” He said he wants that prosperity to be possible without having to use a few large companies that keep a lot of ad revenue for themselves. 

Any business that wants to monetize its digital property with ads can use Kevel’s API. Ticketmaster, Yelp, Strava, Klarna, and other companies have already signed on, with more to follow. 

Startup Savants Podcast 

The Startup Savants podcast is a business podcast created by The Really Useful Information Company (TRUiC). It brings listeners the stories behind startups, directly from the founders themselves who are in the midst of growing their companies.

The podcast’s hosts include Ethan, an entrepreneur, and Annaka, a branding expert. Their diverse skills and life experiences provide listeners with important business insights and a holistic perspective on the startup ecosystem. 

Hear from a variety of real startup founders from around the globe and with varying backgrounds, making their startup idea a reality. Learn from experts sharing their industry knowledge on venture capital, securing funding, and more on the Startup Savants podcast. 

Final Thoughts

With Kevel, advertisers can break free of the monopoly enjoyed by a few big players like Google Ad Manager. Kevel shares with listeners how he and his team overcame funding rejections and other challenges to develop server-side API ads and tools that allow companies to build advertising products. 

More episodes of the Startup Savants podcast are available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Tune in for more startup stories, industry insights, and entrepreneur advice.

You can find the Startup Savants podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts. 

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