The Trade Desk Does VC

The Big Story podcast

The Trade Desk made waves this week with the release of Solimar, its new beach resort brand.

Psych!

Solimar is real, but it’s the company’s new DSP dashboard. In addition to the updated UI, The Trade Desk also launched a venture capital arm called TD7 – named for the $7 million seed investment that got The Trade Desk on its feet almost 15 years ago. Its first investment is in the bidding software startup Chalice Custom Algorithms.

The Trade Desk has matured into a larger role as the de facto independent DSP, according to special guest Ana Milicevic, co-founder and principal of the digital consultancy Sparrow Advisers. And now the company is taking a more assertive stance as a voice of the open internet and as an opponent of the walled garden ad platforms.

The investment in Chalice, which was co-founded by programmatic vet and Google antitrust antagonist Adam Heimlich, also shows The Trade Desk’s increased willingness to butt heads with the big platforms. With the company’s market cap approaching $40 billion, The Trade Desk has some weight to throw around these days.

We also talk CTV. How prevalent is ad fraud in CTV campaigns? And, relatedly, where does all the programmatic CTV supply come from, when so much of the content is ad-free or locked behind walled garden deals.

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