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Baltimore-based Millennial Media files for $75M IPO

Mobile phone ad firm Millennial Media Inc. filed for an initial public offering on Thursday, valuing the Baltimore-based company’s stock at $75 million.

Millennial did not indicate which stock exchange it planned to be listed on and did not give a time frame for the public offering. The IPO has been expected since last year as the company continued to gain market share in the mobile advertising industry.

The company is led by former employees of Advertising.com, another Baltimore advertising technology startup that was sold to AOL in 2004 for $435 million.

Millennial makes money by helping advertisers find space on mobile devices, such as smartphones. The company is increasing its market share in the industry even as it vies with technology giants Google Inc. and Apple Inc.

Millennial has carved out a niche by serving ads to different manufacturers’ phones and offering an alternative to the larger ad networks.

According to a December 2011 report by International Data Corp., Millennial was the second largest mobile display advertising platform in the U.S. with a 17 percent share of the market. Millennial is also the only one of the three largest companies not affiliated with an operating system or set of devices.

In the IPO filing, Millennial said it has 100 million unique impressions annually in the U.S. and twice that number globally. The company said it also works with 73 of the top 100 Ad Age advertisers.

Millennial’s backers include Charles River Ventures, Columbia Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, Acta Wireless and New Enterprise Associates Inc. In January 2011, Millennial raised $27.5 million in new investments from those backers.

The company said at the time the funds would be used to make acquisitions similar to its 2010 purchase of San Francisco-based mobile analytics firm TapMetrics.

On May 12, 2011, BroadSoft Inc. Chief Financial Officer Jim Tholen joined its board of directors. He helped guide BroadSoft to an IPO last year.

In the IPO filing, Millennial said revenue for the first nine months of 2011 was $69.1 million, a 138 percent increase from $29.1 million for the same period in 2010.

Millennial recorded a $417,000 net loss through Sept. 30, 2011 compared to a net loss of $5.3 million for the first nine months of 2010.

Bloomberg contributed to this article.