Viant (DSP) IPO: Shares surge 90%

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Chris and Tim Vanderhook, COO and CEO of Viant.


Viant Know-how, the most recent advert tech firm to go public, noticed shares pop greater than 90% after the corporate launched its preliminary public providing Wednesday. 

Viant operates a demand-side promoting platform, or DSP, known as Adelphic. It was priced at $25 per share, however opened at $44, and closed the day at $47.72. The corporate debuted on the Nasdaq below the image “DSP.” 

It is the most recent public entrant to a scorching advert tech market. The corporate’s IPO comes roughly two weeks after digital advert firm Taboola mentioned it deliberate to go public through a merger with ION Acquisition Corp, a particular acquisition company (SPAC). In December, sell-side promoting platform PubMatic additionally launched its IPO. And Kubient, one other participant, went public in August of final 12 months.

A latest be aware from MKM Companions mentioned ad-tech IPOs have had a blended observe report within the public markets, however that there was a resurgence these days with PubMatic and Magnite getting a “heat reception” from buyers. 

Viant was launched by brothers Tim, Chris and Russ Vanderhook in 1999. The corporate acquired social networking firm Myspace in 2011. Later that 12 months it helped begin linked TV platform Xumo, which was acquired by Comcast final 12 months.

Time Inc. purchased a 60% stake in Viant in 2016, which Meredith acquired through its personal acquisition of Time in 2018. The Viant founders took again management of the corporate in 2019.

The corporate, which has about 300 staff, competes with gamers like The Commerce Desk and with a part of Google’s advert tech enterprise. The software program is utilized by entrepreneurs and their advert businesses to centralize shopping for, planning and measurement of promoting throughout channels like desktop, cell, linked TV, streaming audio and digital billboards, the corporate mentioned in its S-1 submitting forward of the IPO.

Viant COO Chris Vanderhook mentioned the corporate had a “large” 12 months in 2019 earlier than getting hit by the broader Covid-related advert slowdown final 12 months. 

“I’d say the chance in entrance of us out there is that this programmatic alternative,” he informed CNBC in an interview Wednesday. “It’s rising actually quick, over 20% a 12 months. Nevertheless, the full U.S. advert market right now is about $200 billion. Solely about 40% of that’s purchased programmatically or via software program.”

Viant says its DSP is well-positioned as a “people-based” platform, versus one which’s primarily based on cookies, which use private knowledge saved in your internet browser. Google plans to deprecate its assist for third-party cookies in its Chrome browser by subsequent 12 months. Viant, as an alternative, says it makes use of “real-world identifiers” to determine prospects. For example, the corporate says it hyperlinks info like e mail, title, deal with and telephone quantity to digital identifiers like a cell promoting ID or location. This helps Viant goal digital advertisements to the correct viewers.

CEO Tim Vanderhook added that whereas some DSPs focus squarely on shopping for, the corporate has built-in knowledge and measurement capabilities into its software program, making it “actually sticky” with shoppers.

MKM Companions wrote of their latest be aware that they consider the corporate’s deal with “people-based advertising and marketing” and tailwinds in programmatic promoting and linked TV are “clear sustainable funding positives.”

However additionally they identified some dangers, saying that it had a “lumpy 2020,” with important annualized income declines and “considerably of a gradual restoration.” Additionally they famous the fragmented competitors within the advert tech area from corporations like The Commerce Desk and Google.

Disclosure: Comcast is the proprietor of NBCUniversal, the guardian firm of CNBC.

Nominations are open for the 2021 CNBC Disruptor 50, a listing of personal start-ups utilizing breakthrough know-how to develop into the following era of nice public corporations. Submit by Friday, Feb. 12, at 3 pm EST.

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