Adap.tv Said to Be in Discussions With Bankers on Potential IPO

Adap.tv Inc., provider of an online marketplace for video advertising, is in discussions with investment bankers for a potential initial public offering, according to two people familiar with the matter.

An offering could come as early as this year, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The company had been waiting to hire a chief financial officer with public-company experience before seriously considering the step, one person said. Timothy Morse, formerly CFO at Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO), took the job last month.

“We’re focused on building a large, profitable and independent company,” said Chief Executive Officer Amir Ashkenazi. He declined to comment on IPO timing or discussions with bankers.

Adap.tv, based in San Mateo, California, builds technology that advertising agencies and publishers use as a trading platform to buy, sell, and measure the effectiveness of online video and TV ads. For example, buyers can predict the results of a campaign with real-time pricing information and adjust the advertisement’s distribution.

Adap.tv, founded in 2006, has raised about $48 million in venture capital from Gemini Israel Funds, Redpoint Ventures, Spark Capital and Bessemer Venture Partners. The company told Inc. magazine that its 2011 revenue was $33.4 million -- a number that tripled last year, Ashkenazi said.

The TV and video advertising industry is worth $78 billion, according to the company’s estimates. In the fourth quarter of 2012, more than 8,500 campaigns ran on Adap.tv, compared with about 4,000 in the year-earlier period.

Millennial Media Inc. (MM), a mobile advertising technology company, had its IPO last year and now trades at 2.4 times sales, compared with the 1.4 average of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. Brightcove Inc. (BCOV), a video hosting and publishing service, went public last February and trades at 1.7 times sales.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Frier in New York at sfrier1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Turner at nturner7@bloomberg.net

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