MediaMath will make a new investment in event ticketing aggregator TiqIQ as CEO Joe Zawadzki ponders whether staying private or holding an IPO is the best move for the big online advertising buyer.
It's not obvious what the connection is between online advertising and tickets for sports and entertainment. But TiqIQ also offers some advertising and marketing services to venues selling tickets, and MediaMath backs it with analytics, using TiqIQ's data inside its demand-side platform (DSP). TiqIQ campaigns get 18X ROI inside Facebook's online ad exchange, FBX, for instance, Zawadzki told us as he waited for a plane to Tokyo at Newark, N.J., airport.
The ticket market — once dominated by Ticketmaster, which was regarded as a monopoly by its critics — is being attacked on all sides by a range of exchanges and tech startups, such as StubHub, TicketCity and eBay. Zawadzki likes it because "we're looking at the transactional data and its social fanbase ... it's a market in a period of dislocation," he says.
And Zawadzki is pondering the next step for MediaMath itself, he says. He declined to deny that the company would stage an IPO when he talked to Business Insider this week. MediaMath has taken $24.4 million in venture funding and has been profitable since last year even on the bottom line, not just EBITDA, he says.
Its net revenues (after pass-through billings) will be less than half those "previously reported," but Zawadzki declined to be more specific. Ad Age put them at $180 million in January. The platform handles somewhere around $500 million a year in marketing spend, and has about 300 employees.
Because the company is in a financially secure position, there is "no urgency" regarding an exit event for its funders, he says. "Public markets are certainly one of the exit opportunities from a venture standpoint [and can provide] currency for acquisitions," Zawadzki tells us. But the SEC rules that come along with that — 90 day reporting periods and investor short-term-ism — also make it unattractive, he says.
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