Don’t expect Undertone, the premium ad network company, to go public anytime soon. With $US200 million in revenues, and years of profitability behind it, Undertone is happy staying private — for now, says CEO Mike Cassidy.
Undertone is one of the more interesting adtech players in New York because it isn’t focused on automated, programmatic, real-time bidding, as many other companies are. Rather, Undertone creates rich media and places it in select, premium priced venues. Undertone clients get big homepage takeovers, rather than banners at the side of pages that you click on from search results, in other words.
There’s a been swathe of adtech companies staging IPOs, as we noted in our roundup of hottest pre-IPO adtech companies recently. Millennial Media, Tremor Video, YuMe, Rocket Fuel, Marin Software, and Criteo have all filed or gone public.
We asked Cassidy and his co-founder, Eric Franchi, whether Undertone would join them.
“We think it’s better to be a private company today,” Cassidy says. “It may be something for the future.”
“It may be something we do in 2014 … but it’s not something we have to do.”
Cassidy is somewhat leery of IPOs, because many of the recent adtech offerings have had less than impressive results, with stock prices tumbling after launch.
“Adtech is generally misunderstood, a lot of companies sound the same,” Cassidy says. “You don’t necessarily have the best companies going public.”
He’s not ruling it out altogether, however.
One factor is that every Undertone employee gets stock in the company. There is a company-wide all hands meeting every quarter to update them on Undertone’s revenue and profit metrics.
The company has 285 employees and expects to employ 320 by the end of the year.