AppNexus, the world’s leading independent ad tech company, today announced a recap of its performance in 2014, a record-breaking year for the company that included: three straight quarters of profitability and growth fueled by record volume and revenue; a strategic transaction with WPP; the acquisitions of Open AdStream® (OAS), Alenty and MediaGlu; and a $110 million capital raise that cements AppNexus as part of an elite group of private companies with a valuation in excess of $1 billion. In addition, the company recapped other major milestones that defined its 2014 strategy and laid the foundation for success in 2015.
“AppNexus experienced a year of tremendous growth in 2014 in all areas, including geographic expansion, M&A activity, number of employees, ad impression volume in desktop and mobile, and, of course, revenues and profitability,” said Brian O’Kelley, CEO and Co-founder, AppNexus. “This year, we also organized the company into four strategic business units to more nimbly address the needs of our different client bases, and made several key advancements in programmatic direct. It’s been an amazing twelve months, and these accomplishments have set the foundation for an even better 2015.”
Company and Platform Scale
AppNexus exits 2014 with a net revenue run rate in excess of $250 million on an annualized basis. Total estimated 2014 ad spend on the AppNexus platform will exceed $2 billion, with over 34 billion ad impressions per day in 2014.
AppNexus also added eight offices – including new locations in Sydney and Singapore – bringing its global total to 21. In addition, the company welcomed more than 250 new employees this year, bringing the total number to more than 750.
As part of its objective to provide the most innovative technology solutions for the buyers and sellers of online advertising, AppNexus made three acquisitions in the second half of this year, including leading viewability firm Alenty; premium publisher ad server OAS®; and cross-device data, technology and attribution company MediaGlu, laying the groundwork for more strategic M&A activity in 2015.
“AppNexus is committed to providing the most innovative ad technology solutions on the market,” said Jonathan Hsu, CFO and COO, AppNexus. “Based upon our scale and position as the largest independent end-to-end platform, we have been in the fortunate position to augment our technology stack and team with several leading solutions and entrepreneurs. There is an ad tech power game underway, and we believe that the industry is looking for an independent platform that is a true alternative to other large industry players that may be biased toward their own media businesses.”
Mobile continues to be an important focus for AppNexus, and at the annual New York Summit, the company announced that it has seen exponential growth in the number of mobile impressions and mobile spend flowing through its platform. AppNexus also reported that more than 15 percent of all ad spend on its platform is now mobile. Furthermore, the acquisition of MediaGlu and its cross-device data, technology and attribution capabilities marked a key milestone for AppNexus’ mobile offering.
Certified Supply Program
As part of its ongoing strong commitment to fighting fraud in online advertising, last month AppNexus announced – along with partners DoubleVerify, Integral Ad Science, Microsoft, PubMatic and Xaxis – a groundbreaking Certified Supply Program that will classify online advertising inventory and guarantee that it is “fraud-free” for buyers. As part of the program, inventory that is found to be correctly represented and verifiable, with no non-human traffic, will be denoted with the “Certified Supply” label. Once the program enters into its general release phase in Q2 2015, if fraudulent or mislabeled invalid inventory has been detected, the buyer will not pay for the purchased inventory.
Strategic Product Enhancements
In addition, to address the gap that has existed between traditional direct buys and real-time bidding, AppNexus created several products in 2014 that combine the efficiency of RTB with the personal touch of direct negotiation. The Twixt product, launched in April, is an automated RFP solution which allows buyers to issue RFPs to select sellers, gather and compare their responses, and negotiate and agree to terms. The Deals Beta, kicked off in May, has allowed more than half of AppNexus clients using the product to agree to terms of a transaction and serve ads in less than an hour, rather than in days or weeks. Most recently, the company rolled out AppNexus Packages, which streamlines direct deals even further by giving the buyer control over discovery and execution.
Executive Bench and New Business Units
Finally, AppNexus also recently announced the formation of four new business units: Publishers; Programmatic Media Companies; Agencies and Advertisers; and Marketplaces. The move will allow AppNexus to simultaneously operate several market-leading businesses, each of which will have the agility, resources, and focus needed to capitalize on new growth opportunities in 2015 and beyond. Three key executives within AppNexus were promoted to run the new business units as General Managers (Andy Atherton, Casey Birtwell and Ryan Christensen). Additionally, the company created two new roles for other existing AppNexus executives: Chief People Officer (Brandon Atkinson) and Chief Data Scientist (Catherine Williams).
AppNexus is a technology company that provides trading solutions and powers marketplaces for Internet advertising. Its open, unified, and powerful programmatic platform empowers customers to more effectively buy and sell media, allowing them to innovate, differentiate, and transform their businesses. As the world’s largest independent ad tech company, AppNexus is led by the pioneers of the web’s original ad exchanges. Headquartered in New York City with 20 global offices, AppNexus employs more than 750 of the brightest minds in advertising and technology who believe that advertising powers the Internet. For more information, follow us at @AppNexus or visit us at www.AppNexus.com