Ad Retargeter AdRoll: We Quadrupled Revenue Last Year, Now Profitable

As online ad retargeting becomes more ubiquitous, retargeting startup AdRoll says it’s growing quickly.

The company wasn’t willing to reveal exact revenue numbers, but it did share some statistics about its growth. AdRoll says it saw revenue grow 414 percent, while ad impressions served increased 400 percent. The company says it tripled the number of advertisers that it’s working with 2,193 new accounts added for a total of 3,500. And for the first time, it was profitable.

President Adam Berke said via email that there’s been outside confirmation of AdRoll’s growth, “so it’s not just us talking smack.” For example, web survey company W3Techs called AdRoll the fastest-growing ad network in 2011, and technology trend company BuiltWith said AdRoll is the fastest-growing ad tech company.

Berke said that in recent years, AdRoll has “doubled and quadrupled down” on retargeting (where ads are targeted based on your previous online behavior — if you see an ad follow you from site to site, that’s probably retargeting). It launched the beta version of its retargeting service in 2009, and now offers features like a program for dynamically changing brand ads called LiquidAds, a single smart pixel for audience segmentation, and A/B test of ads and user groups.

“We also think these types of personalized retargeting campaigns can add value for actual web users,” Berke said. “We’re not there yet, but we’re making progress. We want people to see ads for products that they’re interested in, and look to display ads to provide deals and announcements for those products.”

On this last point, you might be rolling your eyes — advertising companies love to talk about the “value” they provide to consumers. But Berke counters, “Three years ago, who would’ve thought people would flock in droves to opt in to receive offers in their inbox?  Well along came Groupon.”