September 22, 2023
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Trade Desk unveils new ad platform it calls ‘biggest release ever’


Shares of The Trade Desk rose by as much as 5% on July 7, as the Ventura-based advertising technology company unveiled its new trading platform, Solimar.

The Trade Desk closed at $76.56 on July 6 and traded as high as $81.59 on July 7 before closing at $77.65, up 1.5% from the previous closing date. It lost all the day’s gains and more, though, when it opened at $74.57 on July 8.

Laura Martin, a senior analyst at Needham who covers The Trade Desk, told the Business Times she is not surprised the market had a positive reaction the day of the Solimar debut.

“I do think this platform will be adopted by the user base,” she said. “The Trade Desk works with the largest ad agencies and smartest traders, and Solimar’s attributes were built in response to client requests, so in theory, they will like this platform. I think you can say they are a gold standard leader in the industry.”

It took a little more than two years to develop Solimar, according to The Trade Desk’s head of data science, Mark Davenport.

“This is our biggest release ever,” Davenport told the Business Times.

Solimar consolidates The Trade Desk’s data marketplace into a single interface, allowing for simple on-boarding of first-party data and marketers to optimize their campaigns more easily.

“The biggest thing for me about this platform is its goal-focused experience,” Davenport said.

“What that means for our clients is we understand what their goals are upfront. We collect that information upfront and then we can tailor the campaign set up experience in a way that helps them do the right thing by default.”

Davenport said the timing of Solimar’s release is also important, as it allows the company to gather insight before the fourth quarter and allows users to get used to the new platform or switch over before the busy holiday season.

Solimar utilizes the power of first-party data to help drive clients campaigns. First-party data is data that companies directly generate from their audiences.

“We have always thought of first-party data as a sacred thing for the advertiser who has brought that into our platform,” Davenport said.

The Trade Desk’s previous platform did have tools to utilize first-party data, but Davenport said users didn’t utilize the features as much as they could.

“Really, what Solimar is trying to do is make sure that advertisers are aware that these features exist and that they’re using them when they should,” Davenport said.

The importance of relying on first-party data is key also for privacy, a big talking point in the ad-tech community with Google’s announcement to end third-party cookies in 2023 and Apple adopting more privacy features as well.

First-party data is generally more secure, since it is used by the advertiser itself and is not shared with other companies.

“We are at an important moment in the evolution of digital advertising,” Trade Desk CEO Jeff Green said in a July 7 news release. “Marketers are eager to address a wide range of emerging opportunities, from the once-in-a-generation shift in TV consumption, to proving the connection between their campaigns and business growth, and driving advances in consumer-conscious privacy. And we are launching Solimar at this moment so that marketers can fully embrace those opportunities on the open internet.”

In addition to the Solimar announcement, The Trade Desk also announced it is launching a venture capital arm named TD7.

The name TD7 is derived from the $7 million in venture capital it took for The Trade Desk to become profitable, Green said in a news release.

The launch of TD7 will allow The Trade Desk to invest in technology innovators focused on the open internet.

The Trade Desk also announced its initial investment in Chalice Custom Algorithms, a company attempting new approaches to algorithmic ad buying.

“Advancing the open internet is core to our mission at The Trade Desk. An open, transparent and competitive internet is in everyone’s interests – advertisers, publishers and consumers – and we look forward to investing in companies that share this vision,” Green said.

“We want to see more smart ad tech people succeed in small and disciplined companies because that will help the whole industry innovate and grow.”