Peter Kafka

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Investors Decide They Like Ad Tech Again, Just in Time for Criteo’s IPO

race car start shutterstock Everett Collection

Shutterstock / Everett Collection

Earlier this year, investors were uninterested in new ad tech stocks.

Now that has changed — at least for some ad tech IPOs. Rocket Fuel, which sells software that helps marketers buy ads, went out last month at $29, had a huge pop, and has stayed inflated; it closed yesterday at $56.

Today, it’s time to watch Criteo, the French company that specializes in ad “retargeting” and will trade its American Depositary Shares on the Nasdaq under the “CRTO” ticker.

So far, the signs look encouraging, at least for people who like watching stocks jump out of the gate: Like Rocket Fuel, Criteo bumped up its target price during its roadshow. Yesterday, it raised $250 million by selling more than eight million shares at $31 each — above the updated $27-$29 range it announced on Monday.

A year ago, Criteo raised $40 million in a round that valued it at $800 million. As of this morning, it’s worth more than double that. Now it’s time to see what happens when it starts trading.

(Image courtesy of Shutterstock / Everett Collection)

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik