Weakened, Criteo had to review its model
As one of the first unicorns, what’s next? Criteo has been making French Tech dream for over fifteen years. From Paris to New York, the company founded by Jean-Baptiste Rudelle will have had time to make the leap to Wall Street. Drinking from it, more than once. And to rebound there over the past year thanks to a $175 million share repurchase program. The end of the storm? Criteo has been hit by falling ad spend during the pandemic and has returned to growth.
Jean Baptiste Rudelle. The Criteo founder, who attended 92 parties in 2019, has consistently refused to leave Nasdaq. With around 2,000 employees, Unicorn specializes in targeted advertising and is focused on its main geographic area, the United States. With global sales of $2.2 billion last year, the start-up returned to a gross margin of 37% in its most recent quarter. What reassures its main shareholders, the heavyweights of the asset management Alliance Bernstein and the Norwegian fund DNB Asset Management.
Finally the horizon appears. But the last three years have not been easy. Subject to Gafam’s whims, the start-up’s activity has been shaken several times by decisions made by Facebook and Apple. “Advertising rules are now dictated by those who have access to the Internet,” says Nicolas Rieul, general manager of operations in Western Europe. For the past year, Criteo has suffered from Apple’s policy of protecting the privacy of its users on its App Store. This prevents third-party applications like Criteo from measuring the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns. A shortfall estimated at $18 million in the last quarter alone.
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