Impact Tech Plans for IPO After Valuation Hits $1.5 Billion

Impact Tech Inc. is planning an initial public offering next year after raising funds at a $1.5 billion valuation, underscoring a shift in the advertising industry as brands rely more on influencer endorsements and reviews to win customers.

The company will file to sell its shares in the first half of 2022, Chief Executive Officer David Yovanno said in an interview. Santa Barbara, California-based Impact has just raised $150 million to expand its platform, he said.

Impact works with about 2,000 brands including Walmart Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc., connecting companies with publishers such as the New York Times and popular social media personalities and “establishing a natural connection in the form of trusted information, reviews, and recommendations,” Yovanno said.

The 13-year-old company has benefited from a popular backlash against ads that track consumers around the internet, prompting new restrictions from Apple Inc. and Google that make it harder for brands to collect information on users. This has forced advertisers to find new ways to reach would-be customers.

“We definitely feel the puck is coming our way -- you’ve got all the trends around big tech changes,” Yovanno said in an interview. “It’s really forcing companies to look for alternatives.”

The company’s annual recurring revenue recently crossed $100 million, and the firm plans to use the cash it raised to expand in Europe and Asia, he said.

The Qatar Investment Authority led the latest funding round, joined by Providence Public. RBC Capital Markets LLC served as the exclusive placement agent, Impact said in a statement.

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