In recent months, investors have thrown millions of dollars into marketing and ad tech firms. Many of the investments are meant to prepare the companies for IPO, a move that has varied results in the space.
Investors are still willing to take the risk and ad tech firms are reaping the benefits. These 4 have scored some of the biggest funding rounds yet.
1. MediaMath - $73.5 million
Just this month, ad buying tech firm MediaMath scored its largest round of funding yet — a $73.5 million investment. To date, including the recent round, MediaMath has raised a total of $108.5 million since its 2007 debut. However, the company also took on $105 million in debt.
MediaMath could be trying to hold off on filing an IPO until the ad tech market is stronger. It also could be looking to make an acquisition or two to help expand into mobile. Despite what it plans to do with the funds, the interest certainly proves investors see something of value in MediaMath.
2. Turn - $80 million
Early this year, ad tech firm Turn scored $80 million in Series E funding, bringing its total to $135 million. For the last three years, the company, which developed the Advertising Intelligence Index, worked on its own to grow and turn a profit without outside funding.
With the big investment, Turn is now valued at around $700 million in total, and coupled with its proven ability to grow without outside help, that makes it an attractive option for an IPO. The firm is still not looking to make the jump to public until 2015, but it is working toward that goal.
3. AdRoll - $70 million
AdRoll, one of the first ad tech firm involved in retargeting, announced a $70 million round of Series C funding in April. The firm has been on a funding roll, but the most recent round is its biggest yet.
As of April, the total amount of funding rose to $89 million. Although AdRoll has remained tight-lipped about a potential IPO, some in the industry have speculated that the firm is worth around $150 million — an attractive number, to say the least. Before going public, AdRoll could have its eyes on acquiring a few other firms first. If the firm does make any acquisitions, its likely to be in the mobile arena. AdRoll could also be building up value with the hope of a bigger deal to be acquired. Either way, it could be some time before the firm goes public or is bought.
4. AppNexus - $100 million
While this next round of funding isn’t finalized, there’s talk of ad tech firm AppNexus being in talks with several investors to raise an estimated $100 million. Last year, the firm scored a $75 million round of funding and, if investments hold, the company — a leading provider of automated ad technology — could be valued at an impressive $1 billion.
Leading the pack of investors interested in AppNexus is Chinese company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., which operates China’s biggest online marketplace. In May, the firm filed for what could be the world’s largest IPO to date, which analysts say could be worth as much as $20 billion. In preparation for that IPO, Alibaba has been investing in a number of U.S. companies including a $215 million investment in mobile messaging app Tango and a $206 million investment in Amazon rival ShopRunner Inc. AppNexus could be the next U.S. company on the list.
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