Ahead of ironSource’s upcoming listing, Robert Sayle, CEO, TBA, answered some of the key questions about ironSource and the market at large:
1) In March this year, Thoma Bravo Advantage announced a merger with ironSource, an Israeli tech company – can you describe what ironSource is?
Thanks to the hard work of the amazing ironSource team, ironSource has become one of the fastest growing and most innovative platforms for building and scaling businesses in the app economy.
One of the main goals of the platform is to empower developers to turn their app into a scalable and successful business, giving them the opportunity to make their dreams a reality and ultimately become the leader of their own growing business.
ironSource offers both large enterprises and indie developers the core business infrastructure they need to generate revenue from their app, as well as the tools required to drive user growth and the unique insights they need to flourish.
2) What makes the App Economy so hot right now?
We spend hours on our phones every day and the vast majority of this time is spent in apps. 2020 was a huge year for the app economy, and this trend continues to be strong in 2021 – this was not a phenomenon of the pandemic. App usage in the U.S. alone has surged ahead of time spent watching TV…pretty startling when you put it into perspective! ironSource works with developers on a daily basis to help them understand how they can grow and monetize their businesses and execute on those activities to make them a reality.
Gaming in particular has become a fast-growing part of the entertainment business. ironSource already has a strong leadership position within the gaming industry, with the platform providing support for 89% of the top 100 most downloaded games on the Apple App Store as of March 31, 2021, and will continue to fuel the gaming industry, supporting the entire ecosystem of developers, ranging from independent developers to massive gaming giants like King, the developer of many games including Candy Crush Saga.
3) What’s next for ironSource?
Much like the last 10 years since ironSource’s inception, its growth will continue both organically and inorganically. ironSource is always looking for new ways to provide value for developers, which is why it is continually expanding and strengthening its platform offering, and has been gaining significant momentum within new app categories beyond gaming as well as new use cases like on-device placement of apps for telecom operators and mobile device manufacturers.
ironSource has a long history of inorganic growth, and in just the first couple of months of 2021, the company made two acquisitions which enrich its creative management and analytics solutions, adding more value for developers to the ironSource platform. We believe our partnership with ironSource, and especially our ability to identify and execute on value enhancing M&A opportunities, can help drive incremental growth opportunities for the business.
4) How does ironSource stand out from its competitors?
We believe that ironSource has the most comprehensive offering out there for developers; the combination of one platform with two solution suites, Sonic and Aura, places the company in the unique position of being able to offer app developers both in-app and on-device placements, which together with its additional solutions, makes it a source for core business infrastructure that app developers need to scale their businesses in the app economy today.
ironSource’s success is further demonstrated in its financials. The company has successfully combined high growth with profitability since almost day one. This combination is rare in the tech market, and having this discipline enables the company flexibility and optionality to invest in key areas without reliance on third parties to fund it.
5) What made ironSource the right merger target for TBA?
From our first meeting with the ironSource team, it became immediately clear that we were aligned in our vision and a shared conviction about the level of long-term growth we could drive together.
ironSource is one of the fastest growing and most innovative platforms in the app economy (and in software generally) and is well-positioned for continued success as a public company. The company presents a highly unique investment opportunity with the rare combination of scale, growth and profitability – and a great, founder-led management team with a strong track record of delivering both growth and profitability through offering best-in-class technology.
ironSource will also benefit from Thoma Bravo’s financial and operational expertise in the software space and this will support the mission of creating value for developers and shareholders alike.
The management team will have full access to our platform and resources at Thoma Bravo, which has enabled us to be great partners to management in executing growth strategies. There is a big opportunity here to focus elements of the go-to-market strategy on non-game app categories as well as executing material M&A.
I’m excited for the next phase of ironSource’s growth and I’m confident that our partnership has the winning recipe for great success!