Introducing IronSource (IS)

I do not believe IronSource Limited (ticker: IS) has ever been discussed here. This is an Israeli company founded in 2010 and recently introduced via the SPAC process.

What does IronSource do?

IS provides a platform by which mobile app developers can monetize the gaming apps they create. Once a developer has created a game, they can “publish” it through IronSource. IS fuels user growth for the game, drives monetization for the game, and provides analytics tools to help the game succeed as a product.

18 of the top 20 most-downloaded games and 80% of the top 100 mobile games utilize the IS platform.


For Q2, IS reported 12.5% sequential revenue growth and 83% YoY growth. They recently raised guidance for FY 2021 by 13% to $515, which would represent 55% YoY growth.

2019: 37 45 46 52 = 180
2020: 61 74 88 108 = 331
2021: 120 135 ? ? = 515 estimated

Their guidance of 125-130 for Q3 would represent zero sequential growth and a 45% YoY growth rate. Perhaps management is cautious due to the uncertainty of the IDFA situation. The IronSource CFO says this:

“While we have not yet seen any material impact for Apple’s changes, it is still too early to accurately determine the full impact. Our guidance takes into account some potential short-term uncertainties related to the change while still reflecting the ongoing success and momentum of the platform. In the long term, we believe that our technology gives us competitive advantage and position us to provide additional value to our customers in the context of this industry changes.”

Note also that revenue was flat between Q2 and Q3 in 2019, so perhaps there is a seasonal issue at play. But if this is just conservative sandbagging, YoY growth is still over 50%, which is acceptable.

Dollar Based Net Expansion Rates (%s)

2019: 136 147 158 149
2020: 145 146 150 149
2021: 176 181

These most excellent numbers show that IS can successfully Expand after having Landed customers.


Gross Profit Margin of 83% is very nice.
Adjusted EBITDA Margin is 34%.

No future dilution like with other SPACs

From the SeekingAlpha article linked below:

IronSource IPOd “in a non-traditional structure that did not include any warrants attached. This means no future dilution coming into the share count, that most other SPACs have.”


SPAC investor presentation from May 2021:…

Most recent Q2 earnings script:…

Q2 financials:…

Bullish deep dive on SeekingAlpha:…

Final Thoughts

Q3 revenue growth guidance of ~55% is adequate. Margins and DBNER are excellent. SA reports EV/S of 17.8. This all seems great, however I lack the training/experience to analyze IronSource beyond this point. Therefore any insights or critiques are appreciated. Thanks!



I would be very careful right now with any stock in the app ecosystem. Here is a repost of a LinkedIn post from Brian Bowman the Founder & CEO of a company called Consumer Acquisition. They help companies with, you guessed it, customer acquisition. He would have direct insight into the performance of acquisition marketing campaigns across all the major app players and he gives his personal perspective on performance below.

*Note that Digital Turbine is not mentioned. Their tech is different and they may not be affected in the same way.

IronSource is mentioned.

Q2 IDFA Impact Roundup: Public Company Earnings Reports with insights from Apple, Facebook, EA/Glu, Playtika, Skillz, Unity, Applovin, IronSource, and Rovio.

Here’s my take:

  • We see a -15% to -20% average revenue loss for iOS broad audience games and -35% revenue loss for heavy IAP/niche audience games

  • With only a 35% consent rate to ATT, custom and lookalike audience size has been reduced -65% and effectiveness has dropped

  • Continued downward pressure on click-to-install (c2i) is indicative of lower traffic quality across paid social channels

  • Many small and mid-sized mobile app developers have paused spending on iOS or shifted heavily to Android, inflating CPMs

  • Several public companies appear to have tied COVID traffic decreases with IDFA impact as a way buy time for full impacts to become clear

Public Company Roundup

  • Apple: revenue from ads will be down
  • Facebook: +6% ad impressions, +47% CPM avg
  • Applovin: iOS 14.5+ adoption +80%, 35-40% ATT prompt consent
  • Playtika: iOS 14.5+ adoption +75%, 34% ATT prompt consent
  • Zynga: warned IDFA will have a material impact; H2 bookings could be down by $100M
  • Unity: captures 50 billion daily in-app events and sees movement toward a contextual ad model without IDFA; raised 2021 guidance $50m
  • Ironsource: platform built to analyze contextual data has 2.5 billion monthly active users; no material IDFA impact loss yet
  • Skillz: IDFA loss yet to be determined, but is expected to be neutral; experimenting with engagement marketing rather than UA spend while CPIs remain high

We’ve also included a new podcast episode from GameMakers with Joe Kim, CEO at LILA Games, Warren Woodward, Co-Founder & Chief Growth Officer at Upptic and Matej Lancaric, User Acquisition & Marketing consultant. We discussed the implications of IDFA loss with actual data, including tactics for UA and Marketing to address the impact, product and monetization changes, and the likely winners and losers coming out of all of this.

Brian Bowman
Founder & CEO
Consumer Acquisition

My Take
The iOS 14.5 changes are significant. It is why I sold out of Zynga and Facebook about a year ago and passed on Apps, Skillz, and everyone else in this space. For those that don’t fully understand what is going on, iOS 14.5 eliminates access to unique identifiers on iPhones. What this means in practice is there is no longer a way on iOS to understand how many app downloads a marketing campaign generates. You can longer calculate the ROI of an app acquisition campaign. Obviously, I am simplifying. But that’s the overall impact.

It is not clear what comes next and I am going to sit all of this out until it is resolved.


For Q2, IS reported 12.5% sequential revenue growth and 83% YoY growth. They recently raised guidance for FY 2021 by 13% to $515, which would represent 55% YoY growth.

2019: 37 45 46 52 = 180
2020: 61 74 88 108 = 331
2021: 120 135 ? ? = 515 estimated

Their guidance of 125-130 for Q3 would represent zero sequential growth and a 45% YoY growth rate. Perhaps management is cautious due to the uncertainty of the IDFA situation.

So they RAISED guidance for FY21 by 13% to a number that would represent ~55% YoY growth after realizing ~85% YoY growth FY19 to Fy20? And based on their current FY21 guidance they’re Q3 guidance of 125-130 would represent not only a flat Q3 but a flat Q4 as well (515-120-135-130=130), unless of course they plan on raising FY guidance again in Q3. But I wouldn’t make decisions on the hopes that a company will raise guidance…

Looks like growth may be at least stalling somewhat. Whether it’s temporary or not who knows. I know there are other numbers to consider but based on revenue growth alone it doesn’t look that compelling to me just yet.


Hi Golfcaddy,
I’ve been looking at U as a possible add here. Form what you shared it looks like their won’t be much impact on Unity from this change by AAPL. Am I reading this correctly?

“Unity: captures 50 billion daily in-app events and sees movement toward a contextual ad model without IDFA; raised 2021 guidance $50m “



From what I know about Unity they have three different revenue sources. This is how they categorized them in their last earnings press release.

Create Solutions: $72.4 million
Operate Solutions: $182.9 million
Strategic Partnerships and Other revenue: 18.3 million.…

Operate Solutions, the largest of the three is their advertising business according to this article.…

This means they have some exposure. Advertising is over half of their business. But exactly what kind, I don’t know. The note you quoted says they are moving to a contextual model. This means ads will be targeted based on the placement or context, not the app ID or user. But can they successfully move everything to this new system? They may? Or may not? It’s unknown to outside investors.

For me, I am in a holding pattern on all of these stocks until it becomes clear that they can successfully pivot, and will wait until the next ER to see what happens. Given there are so many other great investments I will put my money into stocks that I have more confidence in.


“We’ve also included a new podcast episode from GameMakers with Joe Kim, CEO at LILA Games, Warren Woodward, Co-Founder & Chief Growth Officer at Upptic and Matej Lancaric, User Acquisition & Marketing consultant.”

This is an excellent podcast (episode link below). I started watching a few months ago and have learned so much about the space. Another podcast by Joe Kim is Super Stonk Bros, which is more for investors.

My biggest concern with Ironsource is they are not the top dog or the best managed in the space. That would be Applovin, and Applovin has pivoted in recent years to use their customer acquisition data to make their own games. Applovin has bought a number of game studios, the most notable being Machine Zone. Zynga is also trying a similar strategy with its recent acquisition of Chartboost.

It appears that doing acquisition, monetization, and ads alone is not enough to generate a sustainable competitive advantage in this space. The industry trend is creating a flywheel that both collects the data and then uses that data to create and recommend better content (i.e., the Netflix model). If Ironsource’s customers move in that direction, I fear that Ironsource will be left behind.


ironSource Ltd. (IS)

Price: $8.97

Market Cap: $9.1 billion

IPO June 29, 2021 @ $10.00 via merger with Thoma Bravo Advantage, a SPAC sponsored by Thoma Bravo, a well-regarded private-equity firm that has done approximately 300 software deals.

The sponsorship of Thoma Bravo is why I blindly bought the SPAC. But I viewed it as participation in a private-equity fund rather than a common stock purchase and sized my investment accordingly.

After the merger, Thoma Bravo has $354 million invested in ironSource and billionaire Orlando Bravo is on the ironSource Board of Directors. Good skin in the game. A lot of Thoma Bravo prestige on the line. I’m sure Thoma Bravo would like another SPAC. Needs to succeed. Etc.

ironSource is very different from most companies discussed on this board because the company has stated that it wants to be an industry consolidator. Although recent financials look pretty good in terms of growth and profitability, they are relatively unimportant. The future success of ironSource depends on acquisitions.

Having loosely followed Thoma Bravo for over three years, I am very willing to hold speculative position in ironSource. However, I feel most investors should avoid ironSource. Relying on acquisitions is extremely risky.

Some Boilerplate:

ironSource is a leading business platform that enables mobile content creators to prosper within the App Economy. App developers use ironSource’s platform to turn their apps into successful, scalable businesses, leveraging a comprehensive set of software solutions which help them grow and engage users, monetize content, and analyze and optimize business performance to drive more overall growth. The ironSource platform also empowers telecom operators to create a richer device experience, incorporating relevant app and service recommendations to engage users throughout the lifecycle of the device. By providing a comprehensive business platform for the core constituents of the app economy, ironSource allows customers to focus on what they do best, creating great apps and user experiences, while we enable their business expansion in the App Economy. For more information, please visit

In short, you if build an app (most likely a game at this point) ironSouce will help you market it and monetize it. You might even share the advertising revenue generated by your app with ironSource. Definitely not a typical SaaS company.


Long IS


Vertical integration is an industry-wide trend. I’m typically wary of acquisitions. I worked as an M&A lawyer for many years and know the numbers about the percentage that actually lead to value creation. That being said, this is not about value creation but survival.

From Master the Meta (a gaming newsletter run in part by TMF Aaron Bush):

"Both companies (IronSource and AppLovin) are vertically integrating — expanding their grip on the value chain as they have moved from delivering ads to providing full suites of tools for publishing and operating mobile games. AppLovin also has an aggressive content strategy with Lion Studios and various game studio investments; IronSource is doing something similar with its nostalgically-named Supersonic Studios.

The two companies, along with other ad networks, strive to compete against the ad duopoly of Google and Facebook. We’ve seen winner-takes-all economics in action as ad spend has continued to consolidate in the last few years. To survive, let alone thrive, merely delivering and mediating ads is no longer good enough. There is no competitive advantage in transactions. Privacy regulations, including the deprecation of easily-available device identifiers, will only amplify these dynamics. Cracking the duopoly won’t be easy, but it will for sure be healthy for the industry as a whole. IronSource definitely makes the list for the most likely companies to succeed, and we’ll be keeping an eye on the company in the months and years ahead."…


Thanks @MarjorieFool for bringing this one to the board. One of my friends nudged me into giving it a look recently, and I see that it’s already been written about here on the board! My thoughts are below and on my blog:…

Quick heads up: feel free to skip to the “Wrapping Up” section at the bottom which may give you a better idea about whether or not you want to read this entire post.

These days, anytime I evaluate a company and conclude that it doesn’t have Upstart like potential, I always get a little disappointed. This is what happened here with ironSource! Although we must be realistic, I can’t create a portfolio with sufficient diversification if I only own Upstart.

What ironSource does in a few sentences:
There are two main business segments. Segment 1 (named “Sonic”) helps companies monetize/commercialize their apps. Segment 2 (named “Aura”) enables telecoms (such as Samsung and Boost Mobile) to give personalized promotions to customers at various critical points throughout the device life cycle, such as when users are first setting up their phone.

Aura is 12-13% of total revenues, growing around 90% YoY and Sonic was 87-88% of revenues, growing 81% YoY.

–The ironSource platform is used by 90% of the top 20 most downloaded games.

–Insiders own approximately 16.3% of shares outstanding (more than a $1.5b valuation), spread between co-founder/CEO Tomer Bar Zeev, president/co-founder Arnon Harish, co-founder/COO Tamir Carmi, and chief strategy officer Eyal Milrad. Clearly this is enough to qualify as “skin in the game”.

Revenues have grown 82% YoY and 13% QoQ. Not all is as rosy as it sounds here, as it appears they may be in a pretty noticeable deceleration. Last year, their QoQ growth numbers looked like this, starting with Q1 2020: 17%, 21%, 19%, and 23%. Then Q1 2021 was their worst quarter of sequential growth ever, coming in at 11% QoQ. The 13% we saw in Q2 of 2021 is a modest acceleration from their low point in Q1, but it is still down a lot from 2020. However, if we step back and look at the big picture, they just grew 82% YoY. Even if they decelerate considerably further, they could still be doing better than several top performing stocks in my portfolio.

–The next earnings report will be their second ever as a public company. The company’s guidance is for revenues to contract by 4% sequentially, which translates to 48% YoY growth. Management implies later in the call that they intend to beat these numbers (as they should). Guiding for contraction, even if sandbagging, to me comes off as a display of weakness and an obvious lack of confidence in the business. That said, I don’t take this sort of guidance that seriously, since the company has never grown revenues sequentially less than 11% (based on data from the F-1 going back to Q4 2019). There is also an element of conservatism added in due to the IDFA changes. They also explain that IDFA changes have been in effect for a couple quarters now, and they haven’t seen much impact.

–DBNER is an astounding 181%. Their historic average is closer to 150%, and management on the latest earnings call noted that DBNER will drop down closer to historical averages later this year. Of stocks that I own, only Snowflake (at 169% DBNER) comes anywhere near ironSource regarding DBNER.

–Smallish market cap relative to other stocks in my portfolio: $11b as of writing on 9/29/2021. Trailing P/S of 25 and forward P/S of 16 (based on a 53% YoY growth rate, which they are very likely to beat).

–Enterprise customers (>100k spending in the last 12 months) grew 26% YoY. Although this is not bad, it is certainly not as strong as DDOG, NET, ZI, etc. Effectively it is the worst enterprise customer growth of any company that I review. But this is not a totally fair comparison because DDOG, NET, ZI, don’t have a DBNER anywhere near 181%. What’s also worse about ironSource’s enterprise customer numbers is that they are noticeably decelerating from 2020, where enterprise customer growth was as high as 59% YoY in Q2 2020. So this means there is a possible correlation between decelerating enterprise customer growth and decelerating revenues, which of course would make perfect sense.

Key quotes from Conference call (and a few from their F-1):

“we began this new chapter after successfully completing our business combination with Thoma Bravo Advantage on June 28 of this year, a partnership which we believe will be important to our growth as a public company moving forward. As part of the merger, we raised a total of $2.15 billion in cash profit, including an oversubscribed PIPE of $1.3 billion”

“If you think about your day-to-day life, chances are you spent a good amount of time on your phone. The average is over 4 hours per day. On average, 83% of that time is spent on app that provides entertainment, productivity and connectivity. In 2020, there were 6.7 billion mobile devices, and we downloaded 140 billion apps in those devices. Yes, what is open for grabbing is that every single app on your phone is someone’s business. ironSource is a software company.”
ExponentialDave: We always say that advertisers will go wherever the eye balls are. Well, 4 hours per day is a pretty good chunk of time! Advertisers will of course be looking to access those hours as best they can, and prudent app developers want to monetize their apps. And so ironSource bridges the two parties together.

“We believe that the total market opportunity for ironSource was $17 billion as of 2020. Furthermore, we believe that our total market opportunity will grow to $41 billion by 2025”

“In the second quarter, we achieved record results with total revenues of $135 million, up 83% year-over-year. This was primarily driven by enhancements made to our platform and an increase in the use of our platform by both existing and new customers.

“309 customers generated over $100,000 in revenue over the trailing 12-month period and accounted for 94% of our revenue”
ExponentialDave: ironSource has More than 4,000 customers.

“Our platform is designed to serve the 2 core constituents of the App Economy, app developers and telecom operators”

“While it has become easier than ever to create an app, it has also become harder than ever to commercialize an app. That’s where our Sonic solution suite comes in. It is built to help developers launch, grow and sell their apps into successful businesses.”

“Put simply, our platform allows developers to focus on creating great apps and content where we provide the infrastructure for the business expansion.”
ExponentialDave: They frame themselves as a pick and shovels play, in this way similar to Shopify and many other successful companies in my portfolio.

“Today, we power the business growth of thousands of apps, including that of many of the Tier 1 game developer.”

“Our strategy has resulted, and that today, we powered the lion’s share of the top 100 mobile games.”
I gave this some thought to determine if this may actually be a good thing AND a bad thing. In other words, as growth investors, if they already power the lion share of the top 100 mobile games, where do they go from here? Similar situations (outside of the gaming industry) have cropped up in companies I own, such as Snowflake and Zscaler, where they’ve both already claimed so much of the Fortune 500. Where do they go next? The answer is quite simple actually - they go for the global 2000. So the analogy here, and I am really just making a guess at it, is that the next easiest / most profitable move is to go after the top 2000 mobile games. But they do also mention expansion coming from non-gaming apps, which is already approximately 10% of Sonic revenues.

“As a result, our business model is primarily revenue share, which means that our growth is highly aligned with that of our customers. And the more our platform empowers them to grow their businesses, the more we grow ours.”

“This quarter saw the launch of several products designed to drive more efficient business growth for our customers across different solutions on our platform. In our Sonic monetization solution, we completed the shift to in-app bidding technology…This technology enables our customers to maximize the revenue by creating a realtime option, allowing different demand sources to be each available ad impression. This technology is designed to increase competition for ad space, raise efficiency and decrease customer opening, delivering real value for our customers.”

"And finally, we’re excited that Bridge Race, a game that was published using our Sonic publishing solution, was the most downloaded game worldwide in Q2 with over 100 million installs…This success follows Join Clash, another game that we published using our Sonic publishing solution, which was the most downloaded mobile game worldwide in Q1."

“A majority of our revenue is currently generated under the revenue share model where we retain a share of the revenue our customers generate using our platform. The remainder consist of usage base fee and in-app monetization revenue”

“We generated $135 million in revenue compared to $74 million in Q2 2020, representing year-over-year growth of 83%. This growth was fueled primarily by the expansion of Sonic and our solution to it within our platform.”

"Our dollar-based net expansion rate for Q2 remains exceptionally high at 181% after achieving 176% in the first quarter at an average of 154% in the last 10 quarters. This increase was driven by new products and solutions launched over the course of 2020 that drove significant growth. Although we expect our dollar-based net expansion rate to remain very healthy, we anticipate that it will rise from quarter-to-quarter and ultimately normalize at our historical levels over the course of 2021"

“Our non-GAAP diluted EPS for the quarter was $0.04 and our net cash position was $710 million”

“While we have not yet seen any material impact for Apple’s changes, it is still too early to accurately determine the full impact. Our guidance takes into account some potential short-term uncertainties related to the change while still reflecting the ongoing success and momentum of the platform.”

“Our guidance takes into consideration the following factors: the strength of our H1 results, the momentum across our platform and the near-term potential impact of IDFA. For the third quarter of 2021, total revenue is expected to be in the range of $125 million to $130 million, representing 45% growth on a yearly basis at the midpoint.”

“in the Sonic solutions suite, around 10% or so of our revenues come from non-game developers”
ExponentialDave: This is important, especially as a potential driver of future growth.

"Already today, we have a solution for smart TVs. And we have new developments, which we’ll be happy to present to you in the next quarters."

And with a few months already into the rollout of IDFA, I think we have a much better view of the current impact and also, I think, a fair estimate on how it will look going forward.

Tomer Bar-Zeev
“And I would say that when we last talked, we said that the ironSource platform is probably best geared to cope with the IDFA changes, among other reasons, because it was originally built to provide contextual – to analyze contextual data. So by definition, the platform was built with a lot of – taking into account a lot of privacy issues. So we thought that we would potentially be one of the beneficence of the IDFA changes. That’s not to say that we still might see some short-term effect from IDFA in the very short term,but we remain very positive about our estimation that long-term IDFA is a net-net benefit for ironSource because of the way we deal with contextual data and the way the platform has built from the get-go.”

“Tomer Bar-Zeev: Aura, the breakdown is – Aura is around 12%, 13% of the total revenues. Aura has been growing at around 90% year-over-year and Sonic at around 81%.”

“Again, the growth in Aura is really only capped by how fast telcos can adopt our various solutions. As you know, telcos move a bit slower than developers…And we foresee significant growth for Aura in the coming quarters

“But mostly on the rest of the platform, we see how that will continue growing, again, evidently as you can see from the current results and our ability to increase guidance for the next quarter and the rest of the year.
ExponentialDave: This is our hint that management fully understands the “guidance game” that goes on, whereby investors put great importance on management to beat whatever guidance they give us.

“I would say that one element that we’re very conscious about is how to best anticipate and to be able to adjust the model for potential IDFA changes, which I think we and the rest of the industry initially thought that we would see some effects in Q1, which really didn’t happen, and then in Q2, which really didn’t happen. And still, we are conscious and we’re keeping monitoring potential, again, short-term effects. And those are budgeted already in the guidance that we’re giving for Q3 and the rest of the year.”

Martin Yang
“First one, can you maybe highlight the particular new products that really contributed to the near-term momentum in the net expansion rate?”
Tomer Bar-Zeev
“So Martin, so as I said, it’s not necessarily a one product or two products that were new that drove the increase in the net dollar-based expansion rate. It’s pretty much across the platform. And that’s the whole thing. That’s the whole point of how – why we win, why we gain market share and why we grow. All the products are really connected.

Omer Kaplan:“Yes. So it’s one of the core capabilities of our publishing product is the ability to predict based on a prototype, which means based on a game before it’s completely ready to complete what is the business liability or what is the marketability potential of this prototype of this game to become a big business. And the way it works is that we have in – primarily in the developers, right, submitting their prototypes in a completely automated way into our platform. And our platform in an automated way evaluate what is the business potential. And then once we identify that this prototype has the potential to become a very big game, then it moves into all of the growth part and the monetization part, and we maximize the scale.

"we are seeing cases of really small developer companies who are managing to create this huge game or these new successes because of that identification to this content, right? When you connect to our platform, you can reach such scale level."

Bhavin Shah: “Very impressive 181% net retention rates. Maybe can you just help us understand how much of that is driven by stronger engagement with your current customers’ properties versus some of your customers adopting more solutions such as creative management, analytics and publishing?”

CEO Tomer Bar-Zeev: “So most of the growth in ironSource are coming from existing customers that constantly add, as I said, the – a typical customer will start engaging with ironSource’s platform across one or two of our solutions and would expand to adding more solutions and eventually using the full power of the platform, which drive the very strong dollar-based retention rates. That and, of course, the very strong 99% gross retention is what’s driving the very strong results”.

My conclusion here is that ironSource does not look like a slam dunk. However, it shows solid promise based on revenue hyper growth and big tail winds coming from the monetization of mobile gaming. Additionally, it gets bonus points from me for having a relatively low market cap and “cheap” valuation at 25x trailing sales and 16x forward sales. My reservations stem from its revenue deceleration, particularly weak guidance, and its business model, which is ultimately dependent on the success of its customer’s apps. Should the popularity of customer apps stagnate, then the company would have to rely on bringing in sufficient new successful apps to keep revenue growth humming along at current levels, which would of course be very challenging, all while fighting the increasing challenge of the law of large numbers.

And its TAM is not nearly as wide as other companies I own. Its TAM is any company that needs to monetize an app. For comparison, CRWD’s TAM is any company that needs to secure endpoints, MNDY’s TAM is any person that wants better work management solutions, etc. It’s probably the most niche company that I’ve chosen to invest in. Although it doesn’t serve a particularly wide market, those who do find themselves needing app monetization services are possibly very willing to pay handsomely for this service.

For the above reasons, I have decided for now to keep a starter position in ironSource of approximately 2%, which I may add to opportunistically. For those of you who like more sure bets, this is probably not a good choice for you. I think we will have a much clearer picture of where the company is heading after its next earnings report.


I debated if I should post this or not, since I don’t know if there is a lot of interest in ironSource here. But to keep things short, SNAP’s earnings report alluded to difficulty with IDFA finally. Depending on how much truth there is to that, it is possible (but not certain) that ironSource will also see some issues from IDFA. For the record, this is what SNAP said today:

“Our advertising business was disrupted by changes to iOS ad tracking that were broadly rolled out by Apple in June and July. While we anticipated some degree of business disruption, the new Apple provided measurement solution to not scale as we had expected, making it more difficult for our advertising partners to measure and manage their ad campaign for IOS.”

If ironSource disappoints to the same magnitude that SNAP did, we could definitely be looking at some short term drops in ironSource stock. It’s only a 2% position for me, so what I ultimately decide to do with it isn’t going to matter much. But I am considering selling out and watching earnings from the sidelines.


“possible (but not certain) that ironSource will also see some issues from IDFA”

Contrar, Ironsource may well stand to benefit from Apple’s move on IDFA. I recall seeing the IS CEO speak to this matter months ago indicating IDFA could work to their advantage because they structured their ad targeting to be independent of Apple’s anticipated move. Looking like brilliant planning right now.

Also, Bert Hochfeld addresses this matter directly in his 9/23 SA article on the Thoma Bravo SPAC.…

I very much like the Ironsource leadership and the model, consider the stock very well priced, own a small/medium position, and prefer IS to Applovin (APP) which is the hotter stock in the space at the moment. The leadership team at IS is superior, IMO.

I always look at Orlando Bravo stocks because he is a software investor/executive leader of the highest rank, IMO. Bravo currently serves as Chairman of IS.


Thanks for posting your thoughts. I debated about it and see the probability of seeing an acceleration in revenue as slim. I am sitting this one out but watching it closely. Of course, Bert likes it enough which is a plus.

1 Like

I recently asked ironSource Investor Relations two questions.

Question 1: Who is chairman of the IS board now?
Reply 1: Tomer Bar Zeev is our Chairman.
My understanding is that Orlando Bravo and a colleague from Thoma Bravo are on the board. Neither is chairman.

Question 2: What is management telling investors about the IDFA situation now?
Reply 2: Right now we are in our quiet period and not talking to investors until we report our quarter on Nov 10th.
Unfortunately, no help from this reply.

My take: The success of this investment depends largely on the quality of acquisitions. I like the recent Tapjoy acquisition very much. I expect more acquisitions as ironSource attempts to consolidate its industry. Distinguishing between organic growth and inorganic growth is going to be a bit of a problem for the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, I expect a lot of growth.

Long IS