We’ve heard that Specific Media, a large and rapidly growing online ad network, has raised $100 million in a round led by Francisco Partners. Specific Media intends to announce this next week.
The pre-money valuation, which our source said is around $200 million, underscores the intensity of interest in the online advertising market that remains in the wake of the large-to-massive acquisitions that have occurred over the recent months. Investors would love to grab a piece of the next big thing, and from the looks of it, Specific Media may have what it takes.
The company, which claims to rank in the top 5 online ad networks, has built a strategy around targeting high quality publishers and premium advertisers. It does this by offering its marquee advertisers access to an invite-only “premium network” of name brand publishers, including NBC, CBS, ESPN, and others. Invite-only systems are unusual in the online ad market, though both Yahoo and Google have toyed with them in the past. Specific Media’s biggest score to date is a 12-month campaign with Ford — a notably long-term commitment for a car company.
We’ve reached out to Francisco, but have yet to hear back. We’ll update when we know more.