Commentary

News From Other 'Exchanges' - The Public Ones

There has been a long dry spell on the “ad tech company gone public” front, as we haven’t seen a major player go public since TubeMogul nearly one year ago, but some relevant news has bubbled to the surface this week.

This morning, Tel Aviv, Israel-based Adgorithms went public on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange. The company hoped to raise $41.4 million as a result of the IPO.

In news closer to home, programmatic video ad platform TubeMogul has priced its follow-on offering this week. The company and certain stockholders will issue just over 5 million shares of common stock at $15.75 per share. Of the new shares going public, TubeMogul is offering 3.5 million of them, which means the company could be in line for a fresh $55 million.

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Neither of these are huge stories, but they do serve as a reminder that the IPO "exit" route is still a possibility for several companies.

Last month Business Insider ranked the “hottest pre-IPO” ad tech startups of 2015. Included were Sharethrough, Videology, Mediaocean, AdRoll, PubMatic, DataXu, Centro, AppNexus and more.

And this is one pure conjecture, but for what it’s worth Quantcast this week hired a new CFO -- industry vet Stephen Collins -- and made it a point to note that he guided both Bazaarvoice and DoubleClick through IPOs.

In short, we may not have seen the last of the IPOs in the ad tech sector. Adgorithms’ public offering is overseas, and it’s not as large a company as some of the others mentioned above, but it proves that the public route is still an option.

One theory that has been voiced to Real-Time Daily regarding why there has been a lull in ad tech IPOs revolves around the disclosure of margins. The assumption is that some ad tech companies may not want to go public because it may expose hidden arbitrage. They may be forced to make a move one way or another, however, as a result of pressure from venture capitalists. 

We'll definitely be keeping an eye on this one.

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