Ad technology company Integral Ad Science closes 14% on its market debut

Ad tech company Integral Ad Science closed up 14% on Wednesday afternoon after its debut on the stock market, trading under the ticker “IAS.” The stock opened at $ 22, above its $ 18 IPO price, which values ​​the company at about $ 3.3 billion.

IAS calls itself a “verification company” for digital advertisements. Its technology is intended to help advertisers ensure that ads are visible, not fraudulent, in the correct geography and “brand safe,” or not served near content that advertisers may find problematic.

“Think of a Coca-Cola ad on YouTube,” CEO Lisa Utzschneider said in an interview Wednesday. “We verified that the ad was seen by a human being, that it was executed alongside safe and appropriate content for the brand. And we also offer a contextual targeting solution that helps the world’s Cokes find content that is appropriate for their brands or content they want to avoid. ”

IAS competes with DoubleVerify, which went public in April. DoubleVerify is up 31.5% since its initial public offering at $ 47.35.

IAS posted a net loss of $ 2.8 million for the three months ended March 31, less than its loss of $ 14.4 in the same period last year.

Utzschneider said the company has more than 2,000 clients, including Coke, Nestle, Verizon and GlaxoSmithKline. She said that more clients are signing contracts with the company to handle verification of all their digital media globally.

On the publisher side, he said the company has partnerships with publishers such as Reuters, Hulu and Comcast’s NBCUniversal.

“The reason it’s so important that we work with both marketers and publishers is because we are helping publishers generate higher performance, deliver higher quality media, and help them with their overall performance and optimization,” he said. .

The company also has a contextual targeting offering, which Utzschneider said should be a differentiator for the company as Google prepares to end support for third-party cookies. The product promises to help marketers find content they would like to be around or prefer to avoid.

Utzschneider said the IPO will help the company hire engineers and data scientists and make strategic acquisitions.

Social platforms and connected television are also growth areas. IAS is working with Twitter on brand security technology for the platform feed. Utzschneider said he hoped there would be “additional social platforms to come.”

Disclosure: NBCUniversal, owned by Comcast, is the parent company of CNBC.

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