OpenX, an independent programmatic advertising marketplace that helps publishers grow their revenues through digital ads, published its 2015 results on Tuesday — results that could help peg the expectations of the ad tech sector a little higher.
The company said in a press release it generated $140 million in net revenue in 2015, representing 40% in organic growth year-on-year. OpenX also reported “double digit” EBITDA, up 100% on last year, and positive net income. Last year, OpenX also said it achieved double digit EBITDA performance.
The results suggest OpenX is one of the few net income profitable companies in the ad tech sector. Obviously, beyond the public ad tech companies, it’s difficult to ascertain which other companies could claim to be in this set as not every independent business publishes their numbers.
Of the public ad tech companies, Criteo appears to be one of the outliers in terms of actually being profitable. It posted net income of €5.48 million ($5.97 million) in its most recent quarter.
Meanwhile, many of the other public ad tech companies are carrying huge losses. The Rubicon Project (which, like OpenX, makes the majority of its revenue on the “supply-side,” working with publishers and app developers) posted a net loss of $3 million in is most recent quarter. Picking out three other well-known public ad tech companies: Rocket Fuel posted a net loss of $136 million in its most recent quarter; TubeMogul reported a net loss of $1.7 million in its most recent quarter; and Tremor Video posted a net loss of $28.6 million in its latest quarter.
Collectively, ad tech stocks fell 5% in the final quarter of 2015, according to investment bank LUMAPartners.
But while much has been written about the challenges the ad tech sector faces (and let’s not forget, posting a loss can often be due to making acquisitions or investing in future growth,) OpenX is keen to point it out is one of the bright spots.
Tim Cadogan, OpenX CEO, said in a statement: “2015 was another very strong year for OpenX. Record revenue growth and profitability were a direct result of our ability to maximise digital ad revenue for publishers by providing them with a high-quality programmatic monetisation engine, epitomized by our leadership in header bidding, and a differentiated customer experience. More than a thousand publisher clients worldwide now rely on OpenX technology as a cornerstone of their monetisation strategy.”
Last month, sources told Business Insider that OpenX had been meeting with potential buyers, both within the ad tech sector and the marketing cloud space.
At the time, an OpenX spokeswoman said in response: “We’re having a great year, growing strongly in all dimensions. We remain focused on and excited about building a large, independent programmatic business. As is the case with many high-performing companies, we look for opportunities to add to our capabilities and we have strategic discussions with a range of companies.”
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