Programmatic ad-buying exchange AppNexus just raised $75 million from TCV.
That’s a lot of money!
It also makes AppNexus that much less likely to be acquired by Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft, or Google any time soon.
It’s may be too pricey now. IPO or bust?
Here’s a blog post from CEO Brian O’Kelley:
There are so many people to thank – our early investors (especially Ben, Marc, Ron, and Josh), our mentors and advisors (especially David and Dwight), and our board (Brian, Ed, Mike, Dave, and Chip). I also want to thank all of the clients and partners who have helped us build the company and continue to trust us with their business. It’s a responsibility and privilege we don’t take lightly.
But of course, the biggest thank you is to the AppNexus team. Your passion and commitment to our customers, to our vision, and to each other is the foundation for everything we do.
The obvious question is “what are we going to do with all of this money?” As I’ve mentioned publicly, we didn’t need to raise money to run the business. In addition, we decided not to take any money for management or employee liquidity, as we see huge upside opportunity over the next few years.
On the other hand, Mike Nolet and I started AppNexus to create a great company that could transform (and dare I say fix) the complex, fragmented online advertising ecosystem. This investment allows us to accelerate our efforts in four key areas:
We have a lot of ideas for how we can make our platform better – some big, some small. We are going to hire hundreds of engineers over the coming years to build the next generation of our platform (know an engineer that wants to change the world at Internet scale? Click here!) We have some fantastic features coming out over the next couple of months (which we previewed at the AppNexus Summit in November) and have an aggressive roadmap for the rest of the year. It’s a great time to be an AppNexus customer!
We will continue to invest in cleaning up the advertising marketplace. We’re proud of our anti-piracy stance, and our 5x volume growth this year indicates that you don’t need to serve on BitTorrent sites to be an ad platform company. We are investing heavily in fighting fraud, porn, malvertising, and malicious toolbars, and we are actively working on viewability tools.
Every week, I watch a group of new AppNexians go through the onboarding cycle. We’re investing heavily in professional development, with extensive onboarding and training for new hires and formal training programs to help employees grow into management roles. We’ve hired incredible people at every level of the organisation, including the executive team. I’m excited to use this investment round to make AppNexus an even better place to work.
We’re embarking on the third generation of the ad exchange era. The first generation was the initial Right Media Exchange which transformed the performance ecosystem. The second generation, RTB, created an ecosystem around data and audience. AppNexus has two major projects in the works for the third generation, and we’ll be announcing one at the AppNexus Summit in San Francisco on April 10th. With access to more than $100MM, we will be transforming the industry for years to come.
In summary, the best team with the best technology, best investors, and best clients just got more money to continue to build the best advertising ecosystem ever. Sweet.
Here’s the release:
AppNexus today announced it has raised $75 million in Series D funding led by Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV), one of the largest growth equity firms focused on the tech industry. AppNexus joins Facebook, Netflix, ExactTarget and other groundbreaking companies within TCV’s investment portfolio. Venrock and Tribeca Venture Partners also participated in the round.
AppNexus’ new round of financing caps a year of success and expansion. Over the past twelve months the company has:
- Managed approximately $700 million of advertising spend
- Almost tripled revenues with no client contributing approximately more than 12 per cent
- Processed a peak of one million requests per second
- Quintupled delivery to over 13 billion ads served to websites each day
- Doubled global headcount to over 400 employees
- Signed major new clients, such as Interactive Media, Orange, and the Canadian Premium Audience Exchange (CPAX)
- Opened offices in Paris, Hamburg and Toronto, bringing its total number of global offices to nine
“AppNexus is the largest independent ad tech company. From serving the first RTB impression in 2008 to inventing the first app store for advertising in 2011 to being the first ad tech company to take a hardline stance against piracy, AppNexus has consistently led the industry in innovation,” said Brian O’Kelley, CEO, AppNexus. “Raising this round gives us access to more than $100 million to create the next generation of innovations that will transform online advertising.”
AppNexus also announced that David Yuan , TCV General Partner, joined the company’s Board of Directors. Yuan, a respected investor and advisor to Internet and technology companies, is on the boards of ExactTarget, Merkle and Sitecore, and he has active investments in Facebook and OSIsoft. Prior to joining TCV, Yuan was an investment professional with JPMorgan Partners and a management consultant at Bain & Company. He holds an AB in economics from Harvard University and an MBA from Stanford.
“Any time you have the chance to work closely with an executive team that pioneered companies like DoubleClick and Right Media, it’s going to be an exciting opportunity,” said Yuan. “We’ve followed AppNexus for the past five years and watched it emerge as the leading platform. We then dug in further and saw what the company has already achieved — as well as what it is looking to do in the next 12 months — and we were really impressed. With the online ad market forecasted to grow to $44 billion this year, we believe the company has tremendous upside. We look forward to a long-term partnership in helping AppNexus to build an important technology franchise.”
With this Series D round, AppNexus’ total funding is $140.5 million.
AppNexus, which offers the most powerful, open and customisable advertising technology platform, serves the largest and most innovative buyers and sellers of online advertising, including Microsoft Advertising Exchange, Collective and Technorati Media. Led by the pioneers of the Web’s original ad exchanges at Yahoo!’s Right Media and Google’s DoubleClick, AppNexus offers the industry’s most advanced technology platform that empowers companies to build, manage and optimise their entire online advertising businesses. Based in New York City, AppNexus is backed by an outstanding group of investors including Technology Crossover Ventures, Microsoft, Venrock, Kodiak Venture Partners, Tribeca Venture Partners, First Round Capital, Marc Andreessen , Ben Horowitz , Ron Conwayand Khosla Ventures. For more information, visit www.appnexus.com.
Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV), founded in 1995, is a leading provider of capital to growth-stage technology companies, providing funds to later-stage private and public companies. With $7.7 billion in capital raised, TCV has invested in nearly 200 technology companies over the last 17 years. Selected investments include Altiris, C|NET, ExactTarget, Expedia, Facebook, Fandango, FX Alliance, Go Daddy, Genesys Software, Groupon, HomeAway, Netflix, RealNetworks, Redback Networks, RiskMetrics Group, Sitecore, Splunk, Thinkorswim, and Zillow. TCV has 11 partners and is headquartered in Palo Alto, CA with offices in New York, NY and London. For more information about TCV, including a complete list of TCV investments, visit www.tcv.com.