In the fragmented ad-tech market, Rubicon Project is focused on the sellers. The company’s cloud-based platform automates sales of digital ads for more than 700 publishers and applications, including 40 percent of the ComScore 100.
The company boasts that its ad exchange reaches 97 percent of Internet users and claims that no digital display platform in the US has a wider reach.
On the buyer side, ad agencies, ad networks, more than 300 demand-side platforms (DSPs) and more than 100,000 brands use Rubicon Project’s solutions to simplify the management of their digital ad spending — covering everything from order flows to campaign tracking and audience analytics.
So what's the outlook for this company?
In 2013, ad revenue transacted on the company’s platform rose 43 percent to $485.1 million after gaining 42 percent in the prior year. Last year, Rubicon Project’s take rate, or share of the managed revenue, was 17.3 percent, up from 16.8 percent in 2012 and 15.5 percent in 2011. The company’s 2013 revenue rose 47 percent to $83.8 million.
For the first quarter of 2014, managed ad revenue on the platform advanced 34 percent to $129.6 million and Rubicon Project’s revenue rose 39 percent to $23 million on a take rate of 17.8 percent.
In 2010, Rubicon Project’s platform was enhanced by the addition of real-time bidding (RTB) capability, which allows ad inventory to be sold in an auction format to buyers—mainly DSPs. RTB, geared toward Web pages with high traffic, now represents the bulk of Rubicon Project’s business.
According to IDC, the total market for RTB is expected to advance to $20.8 billion in 2017 from $1.4 billion in 2011, representing a CAGR of 57 percent. Overall RTB spending last year rose 67 percent to $4.5 billion; the growth rate for this year is estimated at 50 percent. In the first quarter, Rubicon Project’s RTB managed revenue increased 75 percent.