Ad Delivery Firm ironSource Racks Up Another $20 Million

ironSourceFundingIronSource is counting its cash.

The Israeli ad distribution and app monetization company, which announced an $85 million round in September, said Wednesday that it’s brought in an additional $20 million from a group of unnamed investors led by Access Industries.

These two funding events represent the first time ironSource, which works with Yahoo, Google, Baidu, GREE and others, has raised outside capital since its founding five years ago.

The $105 million is part of a pre-IPO round – although ironSource CEO Tomer Bar-Zeev was coy when it came to details on his company’s potential public offering. It’s worth noting that some companies will use news of a possible IPO to spur investor interest.

IronSource has not officially started the IPO process.

“And I sincerely don’t know when we’re going to start it,” Bar-Zeev told AdExchanger. “Now that we expanded and finalized our round, we’re focused on growth over the next few quarters.”

That said, Bar-Zeev did note that “an IPO is on the road map” and that the company is preparing itself internally to operate as a public company down the line.

In the meantime, ironSource plans to use a portion of its investment to fuel M&A around mobile.

“We’re going to be very, very active on the acquisition front,” Bar-Zeev said.

Mobile will be a big focus for the company this year. IronSource recently hired former Appssavvy CEO Chris Cunningham as its head of US mobile and acquired mobile game studio Upopa for an undisclosed sum.

“We’re a big believer in eating in our own restaurant,” Bar-Zeev said. “We see mobile gaming as an extremely important vertical and if we want to operate in a vertical, we also try to be a player there.”

In addition to purported upcoming acquisitions, the company will spend a portion of its cash on expanding its global footprint with new offices planned in Europe and Southeast Asia. IronSource already has about 500 employees spread across offices in San Francisco, New York, Beijing and its headquarters in Tel Aviv.

A portion of the funding will also go toward product development, including enhanced analytics and delivery tools and programmatic media-buying software.

IronSource’s technology is centered on helping app and software developers distribute and monetize their offerings. According to Bar-Zeev, roughly 10% of all mobile applications – about 50,000 – have already implemented ironSource’s SDK, which powers in the neighborhood of 7 million app and software installs per day.

Every time someone downloads an app or a piece of software with its SDK – whether on mobile or desktop – ironSource collects information related to the event and adds it to that user’s profile. The data collected, everything from basic demographics to usage patterns and consumption habits, is used to drive content recommendations and install ads for related apps.

It’s part of why ironSource claims to have a good handle on the cross-device question.

“If you download an app to your mobile device or software to your desktop, we know,” Bar-Zeev said. “It’s powerful data for us and it helps us analyze who you are and what to suggest next for you.”

That’s ironSource’s approach to simplifying the app install world, which Bar-Zeev called “a broken ecosystem.”

“There’s a big difference between how easy it is to make an app and the difficulty involved in turning that app into a successful business,” he said. “The way app stores work now, you upload your app, there are millions of other apps out there and it’s really hard for user to find you. Apps should reach the right person and not the other way around.”

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