Rocket Fuel Secures $50 Million in Funding to Fuel Rapid Global Growth

Northgate Capital leads round with Summit Partners, Cross Creek Capital, Nokia Growth Capital, and Mohr Davidow Ventures to accelerate growth and cement global leadership in digital marketing

REDWOOD SHORES, CA—Rocket Fuel, the leading provider of artificial intelligence advertising solutions for digital marketers, today announced it has secured $50 million in new financing. The round was led by long-term Rocket Fuel investor Northgate Capital, and included two new investors: Summit Partners, and Cross Creek Capital, the private equity affiliate of Wasatch Advisors. Existing investors Nokia Growth Capital and Mohr Davidow Ventures participated, as did Comerica Bank. Total Rocket Fuel funding now exceeds $76 million.

Rocket Fuel is on a rapid growth trajectory. Between 2009 and 2011, its compound annual growth rate exceeded 325%; in 2011 alone, the company grew revenue to $45 million and reached EBITDA profitability in Q42011. Rocket Fuel will use the infusion of new capital to accelerate its aggressive growth strategy. Rocket Fuel plans to expand into more international markets and invest in hiring, technology and business development.

Recent company growth highlights include:

  • Named #22 on the 2011 Forbes list of America’s Most Promising Companies.
  • Expanded international footprint, opening offices in the United Kingdom, Germany, and the Netherlands. More international offices will follow in 2012.
  • Nearly tripled headcount in 2011; currently has 206 employees with plans to hire another 100 people this year.
  • Named one of JMP Securities’ 2012 Hot 100 Best Privately Held Software Companies; named three years running to the AlwaysOn OnMedia 100 (2010–2012); Winner of the 2012 Top 100 Data 2.0 Companies; and a 2012 Bay Area Top Workplace from WorkplaceDynamics.

“I've been working on the problem of serving the right ad to the right person at the right time since the mid 1990's," said George John, CEO of Rocket Fuel. "At Rocket Fuel, we're solving it with a precision and scale that I've never come close to at previous companies like Yahoo! and IBM. It really feels like we have a sweet spot in time, where advertisers have become more demanding (which is a good thing), ad space has become liquefied via exchanges in the form of tens of billions of addressable advertising opportunities per day, and state-of-the-art technology means our AI can choose the best single impression for each advertiser every time." Adds John, “This financing will add an important layer of financial strength and provide the foundation for our long-term growth plans. We are also extremely pleased to have Karey Barker from Wasatch's Cross Creek and Greg Goldfarb from Summit Partners join as board observers. Karey and Greg are well-known and well-respected in the investing community, and we're excited to add their IQ and experience to our boardroom.”

“Rocket Fuel has proven itself as the standard bearer for effective, next generation digital advertising” said Tommy Vardell, Managing Director at Northgate Capital. “In a dynamic and ever-changing digital marketplace, the rapid adoption and retention of Rocket Fuel’s solutions by top-tier advertisers are a testament to the executive team’s nuanced understanding of digital marketing and the sophistication of Rocket Fuel’s ad delivery services. We are happy to be a part of such a progressive company that is able to dynamically optimize advertising for display, video, mobile and social media simultaneously.”

"We are pleased to support Rocket Fuel's escape velocity growth and provide capital to accelerate both product upgrades and geographic expansion," said Greg Goldfarb, Managing Director at Summit Partners. "And as a multi-stage investor, we are excited about the opportunity to provide additional capital in the future as the company scales and potentially finds acquisition targets."

“Rocket Fuel has built a scalable international business with a history of exceptional performance,” said Karey Barker, Managing Director for Cross Creek Capital. “We are delighted to contribute to Rocket Fuel’s rapid growth in the global advertising market.” Over 700 of the world’s most successful marketers – including 66 of Advertising Age’s Top 100 Leading National Advertisers and 39 of the Fortune 100 – have trusted their digital display, video, mobile and social advertising with Rocket Fuel.

About Rocket Fuel
Rocket Fuel is the leading provider of artificial intelligence advertising solutions that transform digital media campaigns into self-optimizing engines that learn and adapt in real-time, and deliver outstanding results from awareness to sales. Recently awarded #22 in Forbes Most Promising Companies in America list, over 700 of the world's most successful marketers trust Rocket Fuel to power their advertising across display, video, mobile, and social media. Founded by online advertising veterans and rocket scientists from NASA, DoubleClick, IBM, and Salesforce.com, Rocket Fuel is based in Redwood Shores, California, and has offices in 15 cities worldwide including New York, London, Toronto, and Hamburg.

About Northgate Capital
Northgate Capital, LLC is a premier provider of alternative asset investments through fund-of-funds vehicles and direct investment vehicles. With more than $3 billion in committed capital, Northgate’s foremost objective is to be an integral partner to institutions and families by helping them earn consistently top-quartile returns from their alternative asset investments. Northgate’s portfolio funds are often oversubscribed, making participation extremely limited. For more information, visit www.northgate.com.

About Summit Partners
Summit Partners (www.summitpartners.com) is a growth equity firm that invests in rapidly growing companies. Founded in 1984, Summit has raised more than $14 billion in capital and provides equity and credit for growth, recapitalizations, and management buyouts. Summit has invested in more than 340 companies across a range of industries. These companies have completed more than 125 public offerings, and in excess of 130 have been acquired through strategic mergers and sales. Summit Partners has offices in Boston, Palo Alto, London, and Mumbai. Notable software companies financed by Summit Partners include Hyperion Solutions, McAfee Associates, RightNow Technologies, SeaChange International, Unica, WebEx Communications and Wildfire Interactive.

About Wasatch Advisors, Inc. and Cross Creek Capital
Wasatch Advisors, Inc. is a global investment manager to institutions and mutual funds with over $11.7 Billion in assets under management and is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. Wasatch Advisors’ private equity affiliate, Cross Creek Capital, is a venture capital fund focused on late-stage private equity investments in what it believes are the best-of-breed public companies of the future. More information is located at www.crosscreekcapital.com.

©2012 Rocket Fuel Inc. All rights reserved. Rocket Fuel Inc. is a registered trademark of Rocket Fuel Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

In the United States of America, Summit Partners operates as an SEC-registered investment advisor. In the United Kingdom, this document is issued by Summit Partners Limited, a firm authorized and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Summit Partners Limited is a limited company registered in England and Wales with company number 4141197, and its registered office is at 20–22 Bedford Row, London, WC1R 4JS, UK. This document is intended solely to provide information regarding Summit Partners’ potential financing capabilities for prospective portfolio companies.

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