E-commerce tech startup Rokt valued at $2.4 billion in latest funding amid plans for IPO

(Reuters) - Tech startup Rokt said on Monday it raised its valuation to $2.4 billion in a secondary funding round led by investment firm Square Peg and asset manager Wellington Management, and is planning for an initial public offering encouraged by the e-commerce boom.

Growth in e-commerce since the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a demand for marketing software companies such as Rokt. The company uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze online shoppers and their engagement with products and services.

"Despite broader market declines in valuations, we continue to see rapid growth in Rokt, driven by new e-commerce partners and an uplift from advertisers," said Bruce Buchanan, Chief Executive Officer of Rokt.

"This has further propelled Rokt's growth and we're pleased to see this expression of support from existing investors as Rokt looks towards an IPO," Buchanan added.

New York-based Rokt was valued at $1.95 billion in December last year after it raised capital in a Series E funding round led by Tiger Global that also saw participation from Wellington Management, Whale Rock Capital Management, Pavilion Capital and Square Peg.

The company was founded in Australia in 2012 and later expanded to 19 countries across North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. It counts GoDaddy, Expedia and Wells Fargo among its customers.

Rokt continues to hire for roles across its business globally and plans to open a second North American product development center on the West Coast in 2023, according to a statement.

(Reporting by Mehnaz Yasmin in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)