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Fast growing but still loss making mobile ad network Millennial Media files papers for potential IPO

Nine month revenue was $69 million
Fast growing but still loss making mobile ad network Millennial Media files papers for potential IPO

Second only to Google's AdMob when it comes to mobile advertising, Millennial Media has filed its S-1 form in preparation for a possible stock market floatation.

As happened most recently with Zynga, the S-1 provides a complete financial breakdown of the business so that potential investors can understand whether they want to buy shares.

It hasn't provided details of when it plans to float or how much revenue it wants to raise.

However, when pricing stock options in June, it valued itself at $305.3 million, based on a multiple of 2.5 for 12 months of trailing revenue.

Secret sauce

According to the S-1, Millennial currently services adverts to around 200 million unique users (100 million in the US), through 28,000 apps.

Significantly, from this user base, it says its network contains more than 150 million proprietary and anonymised user profiles; something which is vital for targeted marketing. Ad clients hook into these users via 150 audience categories, which Millennial has broken out of its data.

The network supports over 7,000 different types of mobile device, across iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry and Symbian.

The result, during December 2011, was Millennial served 40 billion ad impressions, making it the second largest mobile ad platform, with a 16.7 percent market share, at least according to figures from IDC.

Gonna breakeven?

But drilling down to hard financial data, the company is still loss making - just.

2010 revenue was $47.8 million, up from $16.2 million in 2009, while losses narrowed slightly from $7.6 million in 2009 to $7.1 million. (The company's fiscal year run January to December.)

In terms of current performance, sales for the first nine months of 2011 were $69.1 million, up from $29.1 million. Its loss for the period was $417,000.

As of 30 September, the company had $20 million in cash. It raised $27.5 million in a funding round in January 2011 and $64.8 million since its inception.

As of December 31, 2011, Millennial had 222 employees, of which 72 were primarily engaged in product and technology and 69 in sales and marketing.

Most of its revenue is derived from the US, with international sales currently around 10 percent of the total.

[source: Millennial / SEC]