Adtech company RadiumOne has raised a $US54 million 50/50 equity/debt financing round, which it plans to use to open more offices across Asia-Pacific and Europe, expand its data and platform technology, and fund more sales and marketing hires.
The round appears to be a sign that the company is in stable financial health. RadiumOne tells Business Insider the company reported $US125 million in revenue in 2014, that it is on track to achieve around $US200 million in revenue this year, and that it is net profitable.
The financing should also squash anonymous rumours that circulated the adtech industry in March that RadiumOne was struggling to raise capital and that it had just three months of cash left. At the time, RadiumOne chief executive William “Bill” Lornegan sent out a memo to staff flatly denying the allegations, adding that no jobs were at risk.
It has been around four years since RadiumOne, previously valued at $US500 million, last raised investment. The last investment was $US21 million in Series B financing, according to CrunchBase.
Its latest round was led by Harmony Partners — with additional participation for Industry Ventures, and existing investors Adams Street Partners, Crosslink Capital, Trinity Ventures, and DFJ Espirit.
Asked about the timing of this latest round, a RadiumOne spokesman told Business Insider: “Firstly, it’s good to raise money when you don’t need to, and when the opportunity arises. Secondly, we have ambitious plans to add to our data and platform technology in preparation for future advertising market opportunities, open more offices in Asia-Pacific and Europe, hire more people worldwide, and fund more sales and marketing.”
The adtech market is in somewhat of a state of flux currently: The overall value of public adtech company stocks has been on the decline. Many of those companies, including Rocket Fuel, Tremor video, and Millennial Media, have run up huge multimillion-dollar net losses. There hasn’t been an adtech company IPO for months and months and while the digital advertising market is dominated by two well-known, well-performing players — Google and Facebook — large enterprise software companies such as Oracle and Salesforce are now making adtech acquisitions to also grab a slice of the sector.
We asked RadiumOne CEO Bill Lornegan what sets the company apart from the myriad other adtech companies in the sector.
He told us: “RadiumOne stands apart because our proprietary audience data identifies in-market consumers that engage with advertising and convert better. This unique data gives us signals based on real-time consumer behaviours, actions and interests demonstrated across web and mobile touch points. We drive better advertising performance for our clients by adding new, interested customers to their marketing funnel. And, because of these unique capabilities and our record of outstanding performance, RadiumOne is able to raise money while others are struggling to do so.”
This latest round appears to put a line under a tumultuous period for the company.
Last year, RadiumOne was preparing for an IPO. But then news surfaced that the company’s founder and CEO Gurbaksh Chahal had been arrested on domestic violence charges. Prosecutors alleged Chahal “hit and kicked” his girlfriend 117 times over a half-hour period in 2013. Chahal pleaded guilty to two misdemeanours and was placed on probation. However, he has maintained his innocence and said he pleaded guilty only to avoid a “witch hunt.”
Chahal was ousted from the company from his board back in 2014. He has said publicly he felt let down by the board over the decision to remove him, and has previously sought to regain control of the company. Chahal remains RadiumOne’s largest shareholder.
Chahal went on to start a rival ad tech business, Gravity4. But his time at that company has not been without drama either.
In April, Gravity4’s former senior vice president of global marketing Erika Alonso filed a lawsuit against Chahal and his company. She claims she was harassed, discriminated against because of both her age and gender, and that she was secretly and illegally spied on during her job interview there. Gravity4 denies the charges, calling the suit “a sad, desperate cry for publicity.“
And in May, The San Francisco Business Times first reported that Chahal had been arrested again in October last year in a different incident after a woman he was dating claimed he kicked her multiple times. He was released on $US100,000 bail, according to arrest records seen by Business Insider.
A representative for Chahal and Gravity4 called the arrest report “frivolous and baseless” and “false,” with no further comment.
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