Rumours over a potential float on the stock market for online ad firm AppNexus gained weight this week as a source close to the company admitted that talks were ongoing.

Founded in 2007, AppNexus has been one of the main beneficiaries of advertisers migrating spend to online display, boasting a variety of ad trading solutions and marketplaces which help transact over 30 billion impressions per day.

Reports over AppNexus going public in America first emerged on Sunday (July 5)  after a small section of the British press wrote that plans were in motion for a share offering that would value the company at £1.3 billion.

Yesterday (July 7), a source close to City AM said that a float next year remained “an option” for the company. 

Although headquartered in NYC, AppNexus has 23 offices around the world and is currently making big strides in Europe and Latin America. 

A productive year

One of the company’s biggest coups in Europe came after it won a contract to power a private ad marketplace for members of the UK’s Association of Online Publishers.

The contract provided AppNexus with ties to a number of big-name companies, including Haymarket Media Group, the Telegraph, Time Inc., Bauer Consumer Media and Auto Trader among others. 

This led to “tremendous growth” in 2014, where AppNexus managed net revenue in excess of $250 million following spend of $2 billion on its ad platform. 

Destined to profit

The company’s media profile received a huge boost last September when WPP, the media giant fronted by Sir Martin Sorrell, traded $25 million for a “significant stake” in the group. 

If rumours over a £1.3 billion valuation prove to be true, along with suggestions that WPP owns around 15% of AppNexus, the investor is looking at a tidy profit after just 10 months.

Part of the new valuation, far higher than the $1.2 billion estimated by WPP last year, is bound to have taken into account a multi-year extension for AppNexus to power programmatic ad sales for Microsoft in over 39 markets. Adding to this is a potential float after another year of growth for the firm.

Other shareholders include Coriolis Ventures, Kodiak Venture Partners and SV Angel, with Microsoft also holding a stake in the company.