App research company App Annie Inc. is exploring its strategic options, including the possibility of making an acquisition or going public, Chief Executive
The company is also exploring a possible sale, according to people familiar with the matter.
The 10-year-old, San Francisco-based company generated about $120 million in revenue and $20 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization last year, the people said.
Mr. Krantz declined to comment on specific details about the process or its partners.
App Annie, which offers app-store analytics like rankings and other download data for devices running on mobile operating systems from
Google, this year expects to accelerate its growth while remaining profitable, said Mr. Krantz.
It is also among the companies diversifying their offerings as policy changes by Apple make it more difficult for developers and advertisers to collect data from apps without user consent.
The restrictions, as well as new privacy laws and planned ad-targeting changes from Google, create challenges for advertisers that are shifting larger portions of their budgets to mediums like apps and digital videos in an effort to reach a growing number of consumers online.
A shrinking group of consenting app users could have an impact on an App Annie division that gleans anonymized app-usage data, such as average daily or monthly users, for customers such as publishers and developers.
But the business is more focused on using artificial intelligence for efficient data analysis and expanding its offerings to service advertisers, said Mr. Krantz. One such area is insights and recommendations for marketers based on anonymized third-party data that App Annie obtains and analyzes. For example, the company may find that a retail banking app is getting fewer downloads than its competitors and suggest that the client explore new features, such as Face ID logins, Mr. Krantz said.
These changes require investments in new technology or partnerships, which could come through funding, a merger or an acquisition, said Mr. Krantz.
The company’s exploration of strategic options comes amid a wave of deal-making and public offerings in the ad and marketing technology sectors.
The Wall Street Journal reported in June that advertising technology company MediaMath is exploring strategic options, including a possible sale, and
Blackstone Group Inc.
in the same month announced an investment in ad tech company Simpli.fi.
Ad- and marketing-tech companies including
Viant Technology Inc.,
have already completed public offerings in recent months. More recently, Altice’s Teads SA filed for an initial public offering and ad-tech firm Innovid Inc. announced plans to go public through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company.
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