5 Adtech companies that have made the US$1bn Unicorn club

We look at five advertising technology vendors that have managed to join the prestigious $1bn tech startup club


The technology industry is now awash with so-called ‘unicorns’ – privately-held companies with a market valuation of US$1bn or more based on their fundraising activities.

According to the latest figures from CB Insights, there are now a record 143 unicorns, with a combined valuation of US$508bn.

Using CB’s figures, as well as insights from several financial investment portals over the past year, we’ve compiled this list of 5 adtech companies who’ve made it to this prestigious tech club, and what they’re doing to achieve such lofty heights.

Appnexus

Valuation: US$1.2bn

Total funding: $363.2m, last round conducted in April 2015

Established: 2007

Based: US

Similar companies: MediaMath, DataXu, RadiumOne

AppNexus delivers programmatic ad trading solutions for digital advertising. The US-based vendor was established by several entrepreneurs from the ad exchange technology industry including former executives from DoubleClick and Yahoo’s Right Media. Investor backers include Microsoft, Venrock, Technology Crossover Ventures, First Round Capital, Mosaic co-founder Marc Andreessen, Ben Horowitz and Khosla Ventures.

The company claims to be the first to serve an impression via real-time auction, as well as to offer integrated buying, selling and ad serving capabilities in one platform. The as-a-service, open platform allows users to integrate self-developed tools connected via APIs to the core offering.

Headquartered in New York City with 19 global offices, AppNexus set up shop in Australia in March 2014.

In June, the company launched AppNexus Programmable Bidder, allowing agencies and brands to upload proprietary algorithms directly into its platform in order to better tailor and optimise programmatic digital buying using their own data.


InMobi

Valuation: US$1bn

Total funding: $320.6m, last round September 2015

Established: 2007

Based: US

Similar companies:Flurry, Millennial Media, Lomark, Amobee Media Systems

InMobi operates a mobile advertising platform with an extensive range of ad formats, analytics and monetisation tools for app businesses. The company builds mobile-first customer engagement platforms that transform the economics of influencing global consumers.

Last November, InMobi launched its Audience Platform in the Australian market, which uses segmented data from 872 million unique users globally to better target advertising to consumers via mobile devices. The company also recently struck a partnership with consumer insights firm, Experian, to match mobile data with specific households for the benefit of brands.


Sprinklr

Valuation: $1.17bn

Total funding : $123.5m, last round March 2015

Established: 2009

Based: US

Similar companies: Hootsuite, Spredfast, Sprout

Sprinklr is a social media management platform aimed at large enterprises. Features of its SIREn (Social Intent Revelation Engine) platform include social governance and account ownership, social workflow management, approvals across internal business/geographic units and scalable social conversation management across multiple social accounts and channels.

The vendor announced its Sprinklr Experience Cloud earlier this year, a platform aimed at connecting a brand’s various social touchpoints then provide data to marketers to further optimise customer interactions.

In June, Sprinklr made its seventh acquisition in 18 months, acquiring text analytics vendor, NewBrand. This followed the purchase of Brazilian social management vendor, Scup, in May.

Sprinklr was valued at $1bn in March after raising an addition $46m in funding.

Hootsuite

Valuation: $1bn

Total funding: $229.9m, last round September 2014

Established: 2008

Based: Canada

Competitors: Sprinklr, Sprout Social, Salesforce Social Studio, AgoraPulse

Similarly to Sprinklr, HootSuite provides a social media management system. Core features include the ability to monitor social media interaction across various networks, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as custom analytics and data dashboard, giving multiple users the ability to collaborate on updating a company's social profile or schedule campaigns around messages.

In March, Hootsuite partnered with Stackla to allow its users to access Stackla’s content management tools within its platform.

Check out our interview with Hootsuite’s marketing leader here


Panshi

Valuation: US$1bn

Total funding: $220m, last round May 2015

Established: 2004

Based: China

Panshi is an online and mobile advertising services vendors focused on China’s small and medium enterprises sector. Services include search engines, cloud-based network marketing portals and network marketing. At the higher end of town, the company is also offering Internet activity promotions, PR, media buying, market research and monitoring.

The group completed a US$200m round of series B funding in May, an investment injection that pushed its valuation to $1bn.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

How to leverage the Internet of Things to understand consumer intent

'Intent' is the single largest performance marketing variable. It shapes our search queries, dictates our purchase paths and mediates meaningful interactions with brands regardless of channel, media or content type.

Oliver Smith

Business development, Performics Australia

3 ways customer data can increase online sales conversion

Data has been an increasingly critical factor in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of marketing and business operations.

James Bennett

Chief experience officer, Kalido

Our sharing future is both terrifying and exciting

Discussing the future in a realistic fashion is often a disappointing prospect. For all the talk of hoverboards, jetpacks and lightsabers changing the way we do things, the reality tends to end up being something as mundane as a slightly cheaper way to get around the city.

Jason Dooris

CEO and founder, Atomic 212

Hi James, shouldn't marketers also be focusing on collecting and utilizing up to date first-party profiling data on customers so that mes...

Tom

3 ways customer data can increase online sales conversion

Read more

Wouldn't reconnecting with younger consumers be in direct contravention of the code on alcohol advertising?

Tim Palmer

Vodka Cruiser reconnects with younger consumers via category-first Facebook Live campaign

Read more

Thanks for the article Jennifer, you raise some interesting points. The supermarket and shopping centre examples particularly struck a c...

Jill Brennan

Why marketers should take note of social robots

Read more

Winning the retail game is really tricky at this point in time. Many retailers have declared themselves as bankrupt. But yes harnessing t...

Vanessa.M.Magers

​Bricks and clicks: Balancing digital and physical to win the retail game

Read more

Excellent article, Thank you.

Steve Beards

How Aprimo hopes to help marketers tackle distribution of content, funds and data

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in