The Display Advertising IPO; Social Ad Sale

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The Display Advertising IPO

Demand-side, display ad tech and services company Rocket Fuel has decided to throw its hat into the Initial Public Offering (IPO) ring as the company filed its S-1 statement. With financials laid bare, the company says “For the six months ended June 30, 2012 and 2013, our [gross] revenue was $39.6 million and $92.6 million, respectively, representing period-over-period growth of 134%.” This is the first of the display ad DSP/ad network-type companies to go public.  The company also shows that even though it has had gross profit margins in the mid 40%s, it has been operating overall at a loss. See it.  Rocket Fuel hopes to raise $100 million ($76.6 million have been raised previously) as the Wall Street Journal’s Kristin Jones notes that this could be a “placeholder” number until things are finalized. Read more.  The company hasn’t set a date for its IPO, nor has it listed the number of shares at stake – which would provide a valuation estimate post-IPO. Rocket Fuel gets the ticker symbol award, though, with “FUEL”.

Social Ad Sale

Search advertising company LookSmart announced via press release that it will acquire the assets of Syncapse, which recently filed for bankruptcy. “By uniting our technology platforms, we believe that we can create an unparalleled offering to ensure marketers can maximize their return on owned, earned, and paid media,” said Michael Onghai, Chief Executive Officer of LookSmart. “LookSmart has the resources to ensure that all of Syncapse’s customers will continue to benefit from the best-in-class products that Michael and his team have successfully built and implemented.” Read more.

Digital And Radio

A new report by the Radio Advertising Report shows overall stagnation for  ads on the radio except for digital ads which grew at a 16% rate.  But as MediaPost reports, “While also positive, digital advertising remains a fairly small part of radio’s overall business, with the $222 million in reported digital revenues representing just 4.7% of total ad revenues.” Read more.

Picking Apart Patch

Are the vultures circling Patch?  With layoffs swirling, TechCrunch’s Alex Wilhelm digs into the recently revealed numbers of Aol’s local news strategy Patch.  He begins, “Here’s our first key bit of memo, written by Jim Lipuma, head of U.S. ad sales for Patch on Tuesday: ‘Over the last 5 sales days, we have amassed our worst results of the year.’ Let’s fit that with what Lipuma said on Friday: ‘We had $36K day yesterday, when we need to be having $100K+ days. I understand why yesterday happened, but we cannot settle for days like this going forward.’” Read more.


Like with any new social product, marketers need to understand what drives engagement on Vine, as well as how to produce content. David Berkowitz gives some advice in Ad Age about what works in the Vine community and how users are interacting on the platform. Read more.

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