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Innovid looks to $1.3 billion IPO via SPAC

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Advertising-technology company Innovid Inc. plans to go public by merging with ION Acquisition Corp 2, a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) in the fourth quarter of 2021,  joining a flurry of firms in the category that have gone public or considering deals in recent months.

Other marketing- and ad-technology companies that plan to go public include Sprinklr Inc. and Integral Ad Science Inc. PubMatic Inc., Viant Technology Inc., AppLovin Corp. and DoubleVerify Holdings Inc. have already gone public in recent months.

Founded in 2008, New York-based Innovid is a leading independent software platform that provides critical technology infrastructure for the creation, delivery, and measurement of TV ads across CTV, mobile TV and desktop TV. As the only ad server purpose-built for TV, Innovid developed the first and still the most advanced CTV SDK on the market. It currently serves over 40% of the top 200 U.S. TV advertisers.

The combined company will operate under the Innovid name and trade on a yet-unnamed U.S. national exchange, the companies said in a statement announcing the deal.

“Innovid is entering an exciting new chapter of growth as a public company, a major milestone that corresponds with rising adoption and demands for streaming television.” said Zvika Netter, Co-Founder and CEO at Innovid.

“As a public company, we expect that we will be able to build on our leading market position, accelerate the growth of our business, and remain the independent platform trusted by the world’s largest TV advertisers” he added.

Gilad Shany, CEO of Israel-based ION said: “We are excited to partner in bringing Innovid to the public markets to provide the appropriate capital structure and shareholder base to enable Innovid to lead this market as an independent company.”

The Israeli investment platform was also the facilitator of Taboola’s intended public listing earlier this year.

Innovid’s initial public offering is expected to value the company at around $1.3 billion, the report concluded, noting Innovid has also secured approximately $150 million of PIPE financing anchored by top-tier institutional investors including Fidelity Management and Research Company LLC, Baron Capital Group and others including funds affiliated with ION and Phoenix Insurance. Existing investors including Goldman Sachs, Sequoia Capital, Newspring, Genesis Partners and Vintage will remain shareholders under the proposed structure.

Innovid will use the capital to expand its business in regions where CTV continues to grow, such as Europe and Asia.

The merger comes as the CTV industry continues to explode. According to PR Week, CTV ad spend in the U.S. was valued at $6.4 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow to $19 billion by the end of 2024 at its current pace.

Evercore LLC acted as sole financial and capital markets advisor to Innovid and also acted as a placement agent on the PIPE. Latham & Watkins LLP and FWMK Law Offices acted as legal counsel to Innovid.

Morgan Stanley acted as sole financial advisor to ION and also acted as lead placement agent to ION on the PIPE. White & Case LLP and Goldfarb Seligman & Co. acted as legal counsel to ION. Debevoise & Plimpton LLP acted as legal counsel to the placement agents.

Kost Forer, Gabbay & Kasierer, a member of Ernst & Young Global Limited, is acting as independent auditor.