From the Wires
Digital Globe Services Considers AIM for Next Stage of Growth
By: Business Wire
Dec. 27, 2012 02:00 AM
Digital Globe Services, a leading provider of outsourced online customer acquisition solutions for large, consumer-facing corporations, today announced its intention to launch into Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific. N+1 Singer has been appointed as Financial Adviser to assess funding options for the expansion, which may include a flotation on AIM.
Jeff Cox, Founder and Chief Executive of DGS, commented, “We believe our market leading technology and expertise in paid search and online customer acquisition places us at the forefront of a vast and rapidly growing market. With our blue chip customer base and strong financial position we are confident in our ability to replicate our successes in the US telecoms market into other verticals and territories.
“There is clearly a growing momentum in the number of technology companies joining the UK market via AIM and we believe this could provide a credible home for our business, raising our profile internationally and supporting our launch into European and Latin America markets as well as into new verticals.”
Overview of DGS
Founded in 2008 and headquartered in Colorado, USA, DGS employs over 430 staff both in North America and internationally. The Company currently has over 30 customers globally, many of which are in the US Fortune 500. DGS is a specialist provider of online customer acquisition solutions, through the delivery of optimised paid search, websites and call centre support.
DGS is seeking to establish itself as the leading provider of outsourced online customer acquisition services through its focus on having the premier technology platform for pricing and procuring paid search advertising on a cost effective basis. The Company has been consistently profitable every quarter since 2009, establishing a track record of increasing revenue, profitability, and cash generation, with these metrics and shareholder dividends showing annual growth rates in excess of 40%. The Company believes that medium term revenue growth in the region of 20-30% per annum will be sustainable.
What is Paid Search?
Search providers, such as Google, Yahoo, etc. typically provide advertisers with the opportunity, in exchange for a fee, to position search results or advertisements in response to specific search terms that users enter. In such “paid search” or “sponsored search” opportunities, the search provider will undertake an auction, in real time, for the key search terms which prospective advertisers will compete for in order to have their advertising or search results displayed. DGS uses its proprietary technology and database to enter bids in these auctions at price levels that seek to maximize DGS’s profitability and deliver the highest quality customers to DGS’s clients.
The Directors believe that DGS’s proprietary technology and databases, which include information on over 10 million search terms in over 6,000 geographic locations developed over five years, allow the Company a key source of competitive advantage within its industry.
In addition, DGS provides outsourced call centre and online services in order to respond to client customers who have followed a paid search link and registered their interest in the client’s offering. By optimising the results of paid search advertising, DGS is able to efficiently and cost effectively draw customers to DGS’s estate of web and contact centre properties. By further managing the process of converting these interested customers to paying customers, DGS provides considerable value in terms of ROI for advertisers seeking to acquire new customers.
The Market for Paid Search
Internet advertising, and paid search in particular, is a significant and fast growing global market. In calendar year 2011, corporations spent approximately $94 billion on Internet advertising out of which approximately 49%, or $46 billion was spent on paid search. Gartner projects that this amount will increase to approximately $138 billion by 2016, reflecting a compound growth rate in excess of 40% over the next three years.
DGS estimates that currently only 10% of the paid search market is outsourced to specialists such as DGS on a “fee per sale” commercial model. The balance is either not optimized to the level provided by the DGS, or advised or managed by third party providers that operate on a “percentage of spend” or “retainer” model. In a percentage of spend model, third parties will contract with companies to acquire paid search advertising in exchange for a percentage of the aggregate amount spent by the buyer. In a retainer model, third parties will contract to provide procurement and optimization services on a time and efforts or other fixed price basis.
DGS believes that both percentage of spend and retainer models do not align the interests of the corporate buyers of paid search advertising with the paid search service provider. DGS further believes that, over time, an increasing proportion of the overall paid search spend by companies will migrate towards providers such as DGS because of the greater transparency and clear return on expenditure provided by the fee per sale model.
A growing component of DGS’s paid search advertising has been procured for mobile devices. In fiscal year 2011 such mobile advertising accounted for approximately 25% of all DGS’s advertising dollar volume. This grew to approximately 55% of DGS advertising in fiscal year 2012.
Expansion of DGS
To date, DGS has focused on providing its solutions to US corporations operating in the telecommunications sector; all of the fifteen largest cable telecommunications companies (as measured by revenue) acquire customers through DGS. The Company believes the international market for its services to be significant and has begun exploring expansion opportunities.
DGS already has contracted with several clients in Mexico and is in the process of expanding more broadly into the Latin American marketplace. The Company is also in the process of establishing operations in Europe, with an initial focus on the United Kingdom, France and Germany. Finally, the Company is in exploratory stages of developing a market entry strategy for Asia-Pacific with material revenues targeted for 2015. These territories have been selected because of their strong telecommunications brands, competitive landscape and the shift in consumer purchasing behavior from more traditional marketing to internet marketing.
The Company is also expanding beyond its initial focus on telecommunications clients with expansion into adjacent markets such as energy utilities, education, financial services and other consumer facing industries that are seeking to optimize their online customer acquisition efforts. The Company has recently launched in the deregulated electricity utility sector in North America. The Company believes that a material proportion of its revenue will be derived from customers outside of the global telecoms sector by early 2015.
Jeff Cox, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, has over twenty years of wireless and cable sales and operations experience and has held executive positions in sales channel development and execution, on and off-line marketing programs and call center sales and operations for some of the world's most recognized brands. Jeff has held executive management positions at Charter Communications and senior management positions at mobile phone operator AirTouch (acquired by Verizon). Jeff holds a BS in Psychology from San Diego State University.
Bruce Casely, Chief Financial Officer, is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland. He has worked in banking, finance, M&A, investment, corporate advisory and strategy roles for more than twenty years. Bruce has held executive and management roles for The Bank of Scotland, Rothschild, Ernst & Young, a global brewer and a private equity firm. He has held various board directorships. Bruce holds a BA in Commerce from The Robert Gordon University and an MCIBS in Banking from Napier University.
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