The Big Story: More Ad Tech IPOs Ahead

The Big Story podcast

If you’re looking ahead to what might happen in 2022, here are a few indicators of what’s to come: LUMA Partners’ 2021 market report, T-Mobile’s acquisition of Octopus Interactive and Instacart’s advertising ambitions.

Verizon, AT&T, Singtel and Telenor all previously embraced – and then abandoned – the idea that telcos could build advertising businesses. But there’s one telco on the sidelines that’s ready to test the hypothesis once again.

T-Mobile has bought Octopus Interactive, a digital out-of-home advertising business that places tablets in the back of Lyfts and Ubers that riders can us to play games, view content and, of course, see ads. T-Mobile hopes to expand into video advertising, but only on Android. The telco purposely avoids advertising on iPhones to avoid the potential privacy risks.

Next up, Amazon’s huge success building an advertising business is inspiring many copycats. One of the most interesting among its imitators is Instacart, which plans to use advertising as a profit driver for its low-margin grocery delivery business.

Finally, we unpack the frothy M&A market. In 2021, 90 deals were struck across the ad tech struck – a more than 200% increase from the year before. Overall, deals increased 82%. So, what’s to come in 2022? LUMA predicts 10 more IPOs on the horizon, and we indulge in a bit of gossiping about which companies might be going public in the year ahead.

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