Connected TV ad delivery and measurement company Innovid has reached a definitive agreement to go public through a merger with ION Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).
The company, which serves and measures ads across CTV, mobile TV and desktop TV for over 40% of the top 200 U.S. TV advertisers, secured approximately $150 million of private investment in public equity deals (PIPE) funding and has an implied valuation of approximately $1.3 billion.
The transaction is expected to close in Q4 and the joint company will operate under the Innovid name. It will trade on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) with the ticker symbol IACB.
The IPO comes as ad tech companies flock to Wall Street, despite some not performing well.
But Innovid co-founder and CEO Zvika Netter said the company is ready to go public, and the IPO is consistent with its philosophies of independence and transparency.
“The key thing is not necessarily how much money we raise and how we're going to deploy it. For us, the concept of being independent, unbiased and transparent is critical to our success and future,” Netter said. “The fact that we will be a public entity and that everybody can see our financials and who we are, people can trust us with their business.”
Innovid will also use the capital to expand its business. This year, the company invested over $23 million in engineering, and expects to increase that investment over time. Innovid is also eyeing global expansion in regions where CTV continues to grow, such as Europe and Asia. And it plans to extend integrations with CTV publishers and launch more personalized CTV ad formats.
Investors including Goldman Sachs, Sequoia Capital, Newspring, Genesis Partners and Vintage will remain shareholders under the proposed structure.
CTV has taken off in the last year as people turned to streaming to stay entertained during the pandemic. Companies have launched their own independent CTV platforms including NBCU’s Peacock and WarnerMedia’s HBO Max. Ad tech firm Magnite also scaled its CTV capabilities through an acquisition of SpotX.
CTV ad spend in the United States was valued at $6.38 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow to $19 billion by the end of 2024 at its current pace.
“We expect to see more platforms looking for massive amounts of innovation — new products, devices, formats, types of content, distribution models and pricing models,” Netter said. “We just want to make it easier for brands to migrate from linear television to CTV.”