Ad software provider Viant Technology Inc. filed an S-1 on Friday with the US Securities and Exchange Commission ahead of an initial public offering as the company positions itself for future growth.
The company anticipates a boom in the growing programmatic advertising market, particularly across linear TV, CTV and mobile.
Viant, which was founded in in 1999 by Tim, Chris and Russ Vanderhook, did not disclose how much it aims to raise in the offering. Six banks are underwriting the deal, led by BofA Securities and UBS.
In its filing, Viant said it has a profitable business model and that as a self-service platform, it adds new customers and “as customers increase the use of our software, we are able to demonstrate strong operating leverage.”
For the year ending December 31, 2019, Viant saw $164.9 million in revenue – a 52% increase from 2018 – while net income was $9.9 million. However, revenue dropped 4% during the nine months ending September 30, 2020, to $108.8 million from the previous year, and net income was $7.8 million.
With the US programmatic advertising market expected to boom from $65 billion in 2018 to $140 billion in 2022 – representing nearly half of total US media spend, according to eMarketer – Viant said that its product suite will be in demand.
The company also said that there’s a strong marketer demand for cross-channel return on ad spend measurement, and demand for scaled people-based platforms as advertising becomes more data-driven and marketers look to target audiences at the individual and household level while respecting consumer privacy.
“This is driving an industry shift away from cookie-based DSPs to scaled people-based DSPs,” the company said.
Viant Technology Inc., which was incorporated in Delaware in October 2020, will use proceeds of the offering to fund potential acquisitions and investments in “technologies or businesses that complement our business,” as well as to purchase newly-issued Viant Technology LLC units.
Ad tech IPOs are experiencing something of a resurgence. Viant’s S-1 comes on the heels of PubMatic’s public offering in December, and other ad tech and digital media companies are considered likely to follow the same path in 2021, assuming the IPO markets for tech companies remain hot. This new wave comes years after the string of initial public offerings in the early-to-mid-2010s when the ad tech market was peppered with high-profile IPOs, including demand-side platforms Rocket Fuel in 2013 and The Trade Desk in 2016.
The Vanderhooks sold Viant to Time Inc. in 2016 for a reported $87 million. They bought back their 60% stake after Time Inc. itself was acquired by Meredith in 2018, allowing Viant to again become an independent company.
The 300-person company continued to focus on being an omnichannel, self-serve DSP focused on measurement. Its demand-side platform Adelphic, which Viant bought in 2017, remains one of Viant’s most prized assets. Adelphic plugs into Viant’s identity graph and powers its self-serve capabilities.
“We believe the advertising industry is still in the early stages of a shift to programmatic advertising,” the company said in its filing. “The ability to transact through real-time-bidding platforms has evolved beyond banner advertising to be used across a wide range of advertising channels and formats, including desktop, mobile, connected TV, linear TV, streaming audio and digital billboards.”