Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Millennial Media Tries Cashing In on Mobile Ad Boom With IPO

Millennial Media, the mobile ad network that has been loudly declaring its interest in a public offering for the past few years, has pulled the trigger.

The planned IPO is notable because it’s the first time that a pure-play mobile ad company has gone public. Most of Millennial’s other competitors have been acquired instead, most notably by Apple and Google, the company’s primary competitors.

The company’s S-1 reveals that the start-up lost $7.1 million on sales of $47.8 million in 2010, and $417,000 on sales of $69.1 million in the first nine months of last year. Millennial’s business is focused on selling advertising that runs on mobile apps, and it says it reaches 200 million users worldwide; in December it processed 40 billion ad impression.

The Baltimore-based company says it most recently gave itself an enterprise value of $305 million. That was back in September 2011, when it granted a block of options. The company’s primary backers are New Enterprise Associates, Charles River Ventures, Columbia Capital and Bessemer Venture Partners.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work