Peter Kafka

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

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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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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