Integral Ad Science Sets IPO Terms, Suggesting A Valuation Up To $2.5B

Integral Ad Science (IAS) has joined a growing list of ad-tech companies that have filed to become publicly listed or completed their public listings by filing a S1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 

The New York-based ad-verification and viewability company recently set terms of its initial public offering in which it looks to raise up to $255 million, with a valuation of up to $2.53 billion.

The company is offering 15 million shares in the IPO, which is expected to price between $15 and $17 per share when it begins trading on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol "IAS."

The company is looking to go public at a time that the Renaissance IPO ETF rose 0.1% year-to-date, and the S&P 500 gained 10.9%, according to MarketWatch.

One more company going public means a clearer and more accurate picture of the industry’s position during the second half of 2021 and beyond.

“It’s rare to be able to compare IAS directly with DoubleVerify, two large direct competitors in a niche,” said Brian Wieser, global president of business intelligence for GroupM, WPP's media investment group. “For a sector that’s been difficult for marketers to understand, being public is helpful for the industry.”

IAS is following an ad-tech resurgence, likely looking at DoubleVerify’s successful IPO, in which the company’s stock rose 33% on its first day and continues to rise. 

DoubleVerify, a competitor, went public in April, and today sees a valuation of $5.4 billion, according to analysts. 

Competitors Pubmatic and Viant become public companies in 2020. The Trade Desk, Criteo and Magnite went public years earlier.

Wieser said that 10 years ago, ad-tech existed but most people didn’t know the meaning of “DSP.”

When RocketFuel formed around the same time as Criteo, most couldn’t tell the difference.

Having more companies in a sector that is public will add to the research and foster a greater understanding of how the industry operates, helping marketers make better decisions.

Tony Marlow, CMO at Integral Ad Science, on Wednesday in a podcast told Nicole Perrin, eMarketer principal analyst at Insider Intelligence, that the company has been reaching deeper into connected TV to support media such as contextual targeting.

“When we look at CTV, but also some broader video metrics, when we look at viewability, we found that CTV and video has the highest viewability rates -- both around 93%,” Marlow said. “Desktop and mobile were around the lowest, both in the 60% range.”

IAS serves 2,062 customers with 1,924 advertising customers and 138 publisher customers, according to the company’s filing, in which it claims that from Dec. 31, 2017 - Dec. 31, 2020 its average revenue per customer for the top 100 customers has grown at a CAGR of 22% and revenue attributable to the top 100 customers approximated 70% of our total revenue for each of these years.

“We collect trillions of data events per month, which provides us with a comprehensive view of digital ad transactions,” IAS wrote in the filing, adding that the company’s platform ingests, “on average, 100 billion web transactions per day.”

In 2020, The Trade Desk grew 26%, while Magnite had growth of 5%, Pubmatic grew 31% and DoubleVerify had growth of 31%.

Viant did not show growth, and Criteo declined by 13%, according to company numbers.

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