Things are looking up for adtech companies on Wall Street — or at least for one of them.
The Trade Desk debuted on NASDAQ today at a price of $28.75 per share, up nearly 60 percent from its IPO price of $18. And while there wasn’t a dramatic pop, it continued to climb and closed the day at $30.10 per share.
That’s a good start, particularly considering that adtech companies have struggled recently on the public markets, which has made venture capitalists wary of the industry, as well.
Ventura, Calif.-headquartered The Trade Desk, which offers tools for ad buyers, was probably helped by its financials — the company is profitable, with 2015 revenue more than doubling year-over-year, to $113.8 million.
Chief Client Officer Brian Stempeck told me that investors are also warming again to the possibilities of programmatic ad technology (where ads are bought in an automated fashion, usually in real time).
“This is a $640 billion industry that is in the very early stages of transforming,” Stempeck said. “It’s a pretty unique moment — industries don’t transform like this more than once.”
He also argued that The Trade Desk stands out because it has built real self-serve technology: “A lot of our people are engineers, building products, and when someone works in client services, they aren’t managing ad campaigns — they’re teaching others how to run the software.”
Looking ahead, Stempeck said The Trade Desk will continue to expand internationally while also building more products for programmatic buying of TV ads. After all, he noted that while most ad dollars are going to TV, most TV advertisers don’t have a way to learn how many times they’ve shown someone the same ad.
“Advertisers can actually show fewer ads, they can be better targeted, the publisher or content owner gets a higher rate because it’s so targeted, and it’s a better experience for the consumer” because they aren’t bombarded repeatedly with the same ad, Stempeck said.