On the heels of $7 million in fresh funding, cross-device ad targeting company Tapad has made its first foray across the pond, opening the doors at a location in London and one in Frankfurt, where it will focus on the German and UK publisher market.
Tapad’s overall valuation is more than $220 million following the injection of funds, said sources close to the company. Total funding to date now stands at $20 million. Core investors include First Market Capital, the first institutional investor in Pinterest; Avalon of Zynga investment fame; and Battery Ventures, which has also supplied cash to high-profile marketing-tech software providers, including Marketo and Omniture, eventually acquired by Adobe.
The money was raised expressly with international expansion in mind, said Tapad CEO and founder Are Traasdahl, who first spoke about the company’s European plans with AdExchanger back in February.
The reason for that is clear. According to IAB Europe, a fifth of all Europeans use at least three screens, making the continent a tantalizing proposition for a company with technology designed to help advertisers provide unified cross-screen experiences.
“The US is typically ahead of Europe on marketing and advertising technology,” Traasdahl said. “But more than 50% of ad revenue for big agencies comes from outside the US, and for some it’s as high as 65%.”
Besides capitalizing on a growing, largely untapped multiscreen audience, Tapad hopes to provide better cross-screen opportunities to Tapad’s client base of more than 200 Fortune 500 companies, several of which conveniently already have a global footprint.
“Fortunately, many of the brands we work with in the US are global, including big car companies and electronic companies, so the demand from them is built in,” Traasdahl said.
Tapad has made several high-profile hires in recent months to staff the new European outposts, including Ben Regensburger, who formerly headed up the DoubleClick ad exchage in EMEA and APAC. Tapad has also brought several other Google/DoubleClick and AppNexus ad-tech vets on board.
Tapad expects its first European product launch to hit in Q3 2014 and Traasdahl said it plans in a year to include television in the cross-device mix, a service already exists for customers in the US.
Tapad is also working with its data partners to create a mobile-focused product to, as Traasdahl put it, “remove silos and unify pricing across multiple screens.” Tapad is currently working on the underlying technology to come out by the end of the year.
“We’ve seen a huge shift in traffic,” he said. “About 18 to 20 months ago there was maybe 5% to 10% of traffic coming from mobile. That’s gone up today to 60% or 70% and we’re seeing that consistently. That’s why we’re focusing on selling to the consumer independent of the device they’re on.”
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