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Sources say The Rubicon Project Inc hires Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Group Inc for IPO

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December 5
11:28 PM 2013

Sources told Bloomberg that The Rubicon Project Inc has hired Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc for its market debut. Rubicon is an online advertising firm that enables marketers and publishers to automate the buying and selling of online ads. It reaches more people web users in the US than the ad network of Google, the report said. The Los Angeles-based Rubicon is planning to hold an initial public offering next year, according to the sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the information is still private.

Although the share prices of newly-listed public ad-technology firms saw their share prices drop, confidence has increased with the successful debut of Rocket Fuel Inc in September and the rally after Twitter's debut last month. The people also said digital marketing software maker TubeMogul Inc is also set to go public next year.

Now profitable, Rubicon reached revenues of USD 100 million three years ago. Citing data from ComScore Inc, the report said Rubicon's network was able to reach 96% of Internet users in the US two months ago. This compared with Google ad network's 95%.

Rubicon was able to gather at least USD 60 million from investors when it was founded by Frank Addante in 2007. Clearstone Venture Partners and Mayfield Fund are some of the backers of Rubicon.

In August, Addante had told Bloomberg News that he wanted to impress Wall Street first before he would undertake an initial public offering. He said, "Investors in general appreciate companies that are at scale, profitable, have high growth rates and are technology companies."

Since its share sale in September, Rocket Fuel has increased 68%. However, other newly-listed companies ad technology companies had declined. YuMe Inc dropped 11% since its August IPO while its competitor Tremor Video Inc saw a 57% decline since it went public in June.

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