Integral Ad Science Raises $67 Million, Grooms For Global Expansion And More Acquisitions

ScottKnollMedia quality verification company Integral Ad Science revealed Friday a new $67 million investment.

The round is a mix of debt and equity financing, which CEO Scott Knoll described as an “optimal” blend for the 6-year-old company. Knoll also said the company's revenue will surpass $100 million this year.

The company had raised about $49.8 million to date, according to CrunchBase. Previously known as AdSafe, Integral rebranded in 2012 to emphasize a shift from pure brand-safety measures to analyzing things like publisher page attributes and the contextual impact of content on ads. The company also provides viewability and fraud measurement.

“We feel we’re differentiated in ad and marketing tech since we don’t buy or sell media,” said Knoll. “We decided to go out to the market and raise now, despite the fact that we’ve been profitable for the last three years. I learned during my days at DoubleClick – raise it when you don’t need it. When you feel the market tightening, it will be harder to raise in the future.”

Sapphire Ventures invested $27 million in the company, with support from Cross Creek Advisors (an investor in companies like TubeMogul and ExactTarget) and earlier investors. Silicon Valley Bank underwrote a $40 million debt facility, which will benefit Integral Ad Science’s short- and long-term expansion plans.

At 270 employees, the company expects to grow its headcount to 340 by the end of the year. Doubling up on data scientists and engineers is a big focus, as is geographic expansion to bring new products and services to global markets.

“This capital will give us the chance to opportunistically acquire teams and companies who have good technology and who fit with our culture,” Knoll added. “There are certainly some complementary technologies we’re looking at and talking to, but at this stage of the game, we are not really interested in buying companies that do the same thing as us.”

So while Integral is not necessarily looking to absorb another quality verification vendor at this juncture, the company is interested in analytics solutions that expand its stack. For instance, it acquired mobile app analytics platform Simplytics in February 2014 and video measurement company Veenome in March.

Integral is generally categorized with other ad viewability and fraud detection firms like Moat, DoubleVerify and WhiteOps. Knoll said the company wants to explore capabilities around post-viewability reporting, not just “was this ad seen?”

“We’re working on solutions that not only determine was my ad in view, but how long does it have to be in view before it reaches my desired action and then how do I use that information to buy much more effectively,” he said.

For example, it’s determining the connection between an ad exposure and the effect on an action, whether that’s a purchase online or a positive impact on branding.

Knoll said the company’s new proceeds will strengthen Integral’s overall balance sheet, and cushion it for a public filing “if that’s the direction we decide to go.” Cross Creek, which had a hand in HubSpot and TubeMogul’s respective IPO paths, “have helped companies like us understand public markets and we’re excited to work with them in that capacity.”

 

 

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