Rubicon Project Reportedly Exploring Potential Sale

Ad-tech firm Rubicon Project is reportedly exploring “strategic options” for its business, including a potential sale, according to a story that broke Friday in The Wall Street Journal.

The company, which went public in 2014, is one of a handful of ad-tech firms that have turned to the public markets. Rubicon's technology is used by marketers and publishers for programmatic media buying.

Rubicon has lately focused on mobile and video ad platforms, but was late to the game on header bidding, the technology that enables publishes to obtain competitive pricing on ad inventory.

According to the WSJ, people familiar with the situation indicated that Rubicon is working with Morgan Stanley, which was one of its lead underwriters when it went public.

Rubicon’s market value is estimated at $375 million. Asked to confirm or elaborate on the report, Rubicon Chief Communications Officer Dallas Lawrence told Real-Time Daily via email: “We do not comment on inquiries of this kind.”

The ad-tech sector is taking a beating.

Rocket Fuel last week announced a major restructuring and layoffs of 11% of its workforce. Rocket Fuel is looking to segue into a platforms-based business while also continuing its cash-cow media business.

However, there are a couple of bright spots: Ad-tech firm The Trade Desk went public late last year, while AppNexus filed paperwork for an initial public offering that is projected to occur in the second quarter. The Journal reported that AppNexus’ valuation could come in between $1.5 billion and $2 billion.

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