‘IPO-ready’ IronSource waits for more favorable markets

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IronSource, one of Israel’s most valuable private tech firms, is waiting for more favorable conditions before considering a stock market listing, one of its founders said.

IronSource, whose value exceeds $1 billion according to market estimates, makes tools to help mobile app developers distribute and profit from their apps. Last year, it raised over $100 million from investors including New York-based Access Industries, China’s PingAn Ventures and China Broadband Capital.

There has been speculation in local media about an initial public offering because in Israel most tech companies go public before they pass $1 billion in valuation.

Chief Marketing Officer and co-founder Omer Kaplan told Reuters that while IronSource was “definitely IPO ready”, now was not an ideal time to go public.

“We are ready to act once the market changes. We are waiting for one of the giants, such as Uber, to put life in the markets,” he said.

In the meantime, IronSource may consider more private fundraising to finance acquisitions and is looking at seven Israeli and U.S. companies, Kaplan said, noting that companies that provide features such as analytics could be a target.

In September, IronSource merged with U.S.-Israeli mobile ad firm Supersonic.

IronSource did not disclose terms of the deal – its seventh – but Israeli media reported the amount at $150-$200 million.

“The market is consolidating and we will be aggressive consolidators,” Kaplan said.

Since 2013 there have been numerous deals in the sector, including Twitter’s purchase of MoPub and Facebook’s deal with LiveRail.

According to Tune, a firm that tracks which ad networks drive mobile app installations, IronSource/Supersonic is third largest after Facebook and Google AdWords in terms of volume of installations.

IronSource also competes in a different market against Google AdMob and MoPub, which provide tools that help mobile app developers make money from their apps such as by offering premium services.

Mobile ad spending is expected to exceed $100 billion in 2016, according to eMarketer.

Kaplan estimated IronSource’s revenue would grow 30 percent in 2016 to exceed $450 million, with about 70 percent from tools for mobile app developers and the rest from other products.

IronSource is now entering a new business to enable device makers and cellular operators to profit from digital content via technology that can tailor content to individual subscribers.

Founded in 2010, IronSource has over 700 employees and offices in the United States, China, London and India.

(Editing by Jane Merriman)