Marin Software Files For IPO

Marin Software logoMarin Software, one of the leading search and social marketing platform providers, has filed to go public. The amount the company expects to raise right now is uncertain because, “The number of shares to be sold and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined.”

Marin has been around for a little less than six years and says its software platform helps manage more than $4 billion in digital ad spending. It lists a range of clients, including “many of the world’s largest interactive agencies and advertisers . . . [such as] University of Phoenix, Macy’s, Razorfish, Neo@Ogilvy, PriceGrabber, Symantec and Salesforce.com.”

Marin’s chief competitor is probably Kenshoo, at least if measured by annual ad spend managed based on our PPC Campaign Management Tools report, ($3 billion vs $2 billion).

The company’s S-1 filing revealed revenue of $42 million for the first nine months of 2012 and a net loss of $19.2 million during the same period. Marin says it has about $17 million in cash. Below is a condensed version of the company’s balance sheet.

Balance sheet Marin

Under the “Risk Factors” discussion, which is standard in an S-1, the following statement appears:

We have incurred significant losses in each fiscal year since our incorporation in 2006. We experienced net losses of $17.4 million during 2011 and $19.2 million during the nine months ended September 30, 2012. As of September 30, 2012, we had an accumulated deficit of $70.1 million. The losses and accumulated deficit were due to the substantial investments we made to grow our business and acquire customers. We anticipate that our cost of revenues and operating expenses will increase substantially in the foreseeable future as we continue to invest to grow our business and acquire customers and develop our platform and new functionality . . . We do not expect to be profitable in the foreseeable future and we cannot be certain that we will be able to attain profitability on a quarterly or annual basis, or if we do, that we will sustain profitability.

While to some degree this is standard, “boilerplate” type stuff — warning investors about the uncertainty of the future — it may also scare some people away. However, technology platforms and tools such as those offered by Marin aren’t going away and are critical to the management of increasingly complex digital marketing campaigns.

There’s more detail and information in Marin’s S-1 filing.

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About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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