Rubicon Project began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday at $15, the low end of its previously stated $15 to $17 range range. Updated: As of 10:45 a.m. EDT, the stock was trading up 34% at $2o.10 per share.
CEO Frank Addante and fellow C-Suite founders Greg Raifman (president) and Todd Tappin (COO/CFO) were dispatched from the company's Los Angeles home base to ring the exchange's opening bell.
Rubicon aims to raise about $108 million by selling $6.8 million shares in what will mark the third "programmatic IPO" since the market for public offerings began heating up last year. "Ad network 2.0" players Rocket Fuel and Criteo have received a largely warm welcome on Wall Street, with each trading today at more than 30% above their opening prices. And others are on the docket, including Rubicon SSP rival PubMatic and video DSP TubeMogul.
But Rubicon is the first SSP/exchange company to debut on the public markets.
Richard Fetyko, an Internet technology and media analyst with investment bank ABR Investment Strategy, called Rubicon "an attractive play on the paradigm shift in digital advertising towards programmatic buying and selling."
However he sees some challenges, including a continued fragmentation of supply. "Competition from publishers’ own ad exchanges ... can tie up large chunks of quality inventory: Marketplace (AOL), AdX (Google), FBX (Facebook), Adapt.tv (AOL), Right Media (YHOO), MoPub (Twitter), AppNexus (Microsoft)," Fetyko wrote.
Rubicon previously disclosed 2013 net revenue growth of 47% to $83.8 million. Total revenue managed on the Rubicon platform in 2013 was $485.1 million, a 43% increase over 2012 ($338.9 million).
Here's a shot of Addante, Raifman, and Tappin with their Wall Street phalanx this morning, just after ringing the opening bell at the NYSE.
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