Rocket Fuel Aims for 2012 IPO to Boost Online Ad Sales

Posted by: Rachael King on December 14, 2011

By Brian Womack

Rocket Fuel Inc., an online advertising company, may join what’s becoming a long parade of technology companies.

If market conditions allow, Rocket Fuel is aiming for an initial public offering in 2012 as the company expands its sales, said Chief Executive Officer George John. Rocket Fuel will have more than $40 million in revenue this year, up from about $16 million in 2010, he said. That’s more than Zillow Inc., the online real estate company, had before its IPO earlier this year, John said.

The company, which helps companies place ads on websites and mobile devices in real time, is benefiting from international growth and strong demand from current customers. More than 90 percent of its clients renewed spending on Rocket Fuel in the third quarter from the second quarter, he said. Those customers increased their spending by an average of 50 percent.

The company’s backers include Nokia Growth Partners and Northgate Capital. Before a potential public offering, the Redwood City, California-based company plans to raise capital in the first quarter to fund growth and acquisitions, he said.

“If there’s a speed limit for us, we haven’t found it yet,” John said.

Other initial public offerings this past year include Groupon Inc., the daily deals site, and LinkedIn Corp., the professional services networking service.

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Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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