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Lessons From Criteo’s (CRTO) IPO

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Michael Brown

August 12, 2019

CriteoCriteo’s IPO yesterday was another notch in the adtech belt, following up the IPOs of Rocket Fuel, Tremor, YuMe, and many others. We continue to see value to the CMO suite and have backed a fair amount of companies in the space including Vungle, Open X, Solve Media and AppSavy – we continue to see more opportunities. Some of these IPOs have done well, while others haven’t. Regardless, these IPOs are a good reference for startup founders to see how hard it is to go public and what it really takes.

While reading up on Criteo’s IPO there were several interesting numbers that startups in this space should take notice of:

Criteo’s Client Retention Rate = 90%+

It is incredibly difficult for an organization to build a customer retention rate of 90% or more. Rocket Fuel had a similar benefit and both companies in early years were operating at a 97% renewal rate. But, for most startups having your sales team only replace 3% of customers feels like a pipe dream. What is your company’s client renewal rate? How can you better it?

Criteo’s Estimated Customer Count in 2008, 2010, and 2012 = 0 -> 350 -> 3,000

Having known Criteo for some time, they spent about 3 years perfecting their sales model and then another 3 years pouring gas on the fire. The company was founded in 2005 and took a few years to really get started, kicking off in late 2007. From 2007 to late 2013 (6+ years) they grew to 3,000+ customers and $200m+ in revenues. Is your start-up growing that quickly in that short a period of time?

People Who Focus on Building the Supply Side for Criteo = 85

Currently, these 85 people focus on their 6,000+ direct partners. This is a big staff and with a solution that is very compelling, it is no question that they will be able to continue to carve out more share. How many people do you have building and retaining your supply side?

Ad-X Clients to Date: 120

Ad-X, which was acquired by Criteo in July 2013, is Criteo’s play into the mobile ecosystem. Ad-X provides mobile analytics and attribution to existing and new Criteo clients. For startups going after mobile analytics and attribution, did you know about these guys?

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