Boston-based DataXu, whose technology aims to improve digital marketing decisions using machine learning and “big data,” this year expects to “substantially more than double” the more than $30 million in revenue the firm received in 2011, co-founder Bruce Journey said in an interview.
That puts the company on the larger end of privately-held technology companies in the Boston area, as well as in the range in which many tech firms consider going public. Journey said an IPO is “clearly on the horizon” for the company, though the timing will depend on market conditions and other factors.
DataXu, which has a presence in eight countries, is also evaluating whether it will expand into Asia-Pacific in 2013, said Journey, who is DataXu’s international managing director.
“We’re fast growing, but still a relatively small company,” he said. “We would rather do it right than do it fast.”
Founded in late 2007, the company has grown especially fast in the past two years, amid industry recognition such as the No. 1 ranking in its category in a Forrester report a year ago (above Google’s Invite Media).
DataXu offers a system that aims to get the largest return-on-investment possible from digital ad placement, by pairing data on consumer activity with machine learning technology.
The system works by looking at data on how consumers have interacted with a customer’s Internet assets and creating a unique algorithm — sometimes described by the company as a “mini valuation machine” — for that customer.
DataXu then makes bids for digital ads for the customer based on the algorithm, and chooses content of the ads deemed likely to lead to a consumer conversion — all of which happens in about 10 milliseconds, according to the company.