Rubicon Project Revealed: Files S-1, Looks To Raise $100 Million

ipo-rubiconAt long last, sell-side platform (or do you say “ad exchange” or “marketplace”?) Rubicon Project has filed it’s S-1 Registration Statement with the U.S. Securities And Exchange Commission in preparation for an Initial Public Offering (IPO). The company is looking to raise $100 million. It has yet to reveal pricing for its offering so no current valuation according to the market is available – yet.

Rubicon reported revenues of $55.7 million for the first nine months of 2013, up 48 percent from $37.6 million during the same period in 2012. Full-year 2012 revenues were $57 million. Meanwhile, total ad spending transacted on the Rubicon platform was $338.9 million in full-year 2012, and $326.7 million in the first nine months of 2013.

The company’s net loss shrank from $15.4 million in 2011 to $2.4 million in 2012. Its loss for the first nine months of 2013 was $9.2 million.

Among the many tidbits in the SEC filing is ownership stake held by the company and its key executives and investors. CEO Frank Addante has 10.1 percent, News Corporation owns 21.3 percent, and Clearstone Venture Partners holds 24 percent.


Addante’s salary is $280,000 (he also received at least $150,000 in cash incentives last year), while president Gregory Raifman and COO/CFO Todd Tappin each make $279,615. Raifman and Tappin recorded (smaller) bonuses too, and have stock options valued at under $4 million apiece.

Also, the company is notably calling its core offering the “Advertising Automation Cloud.” It’s interesting to see management position Rubicon less as a “programmatic” IPO than a “cloud” IPO. Perhaps, Adobe, Amazon or Salesforce will take note of the moniker given their own cloud efforts and rumored searches for acquisition targets.

And lastly, here’s how the prospectus characterizes Rubicon’s customer set: “We have direct relationships built on technical integration with over 500 sellers of digital advertising, including approximately 40% of the U.S. comScore 100.”

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