Ad software company DoubleVerify up 28% on first day of trading

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DVTraders working at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), today, Wednesday, April 21, 2021.Source: NYSE

DoubleVerify, a company that builds software for digital media advertisers, was trading up 28% after launching its initial public offering Wednesday. 

Shares opened at $35, up from its IPO price of $27, to reach a market cap of more than $5.3 billion.

The company provides software to measure digital media ad placements, campaign effectiveness and analytics. It attempts to help advertisers ensure ads are viewable, non-fraudulent, in the correct geographies, and “brand-safe,” or not adjacent to content that advertisers might deem problematic, like controversial political content or fake news. It has direct integration with programmatic players (like The Trade Desk and Google), social media platforms (like Facebook, Google’s YouTube and Snap) and connected TV players (like Amazon and Roku), according to its prospectus. 

“Think of us as advertising security software,” DoubleVerify CEO Mark Zagorski told CNBC. “We ensure that an ad transaction is fraud-free, that the ad is delivered to a real person that can actually see it, not a bot, and that it’s delivered in a context that’s safe for that brand.” 

The company is the latest in a slew of ad tech players to go public in recent months, including PubMatic, Viant and Kubient.  

“As dollars continue to shift into digital and even into digital areas like connected television, fraud continues to be a challenge to create trust between buyers and sellers,” Zagorski said. “The environment for our product has never been more ripe.” 

DoubleVerify generated revenue of about $244 million in 2020, up from $183 million in 2018. The company has about 1,000 customers, according to its S-1. 

“We’ve got a really nice diversification of clients,” Zagorski said. “During Covid last year, when retail and travel just collapsed, we still managed to grow 22% during Q2….” 

He sees growth as coming from new coverage sectors, like getting deeper into connected TV, audio and podcasting. Growth should also come from new geographies and new products, he said. 

DoubleVerify said in its prospectus that its primary competitors are other digital ad measurement providers like Integral Ad Science, as well as Moat and Grapeshot,