Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Another Ad Exchange Player: Microsoft Vet Jeff Green Launches The Trade Desk

Last fall Jeff Green left his job running AdECN, Microsoft’s (MSFT) entry into the real-time ad-exchange business. He didn’t go far. Green is building The Trade Desk, a start-up designed to help marketers buy advertising from exchanges like the one he left.

Green has rounded up about $2.5 million in financing for the Ventura, Calif.-based company. Founder Collective and Roger Ehrenberg’s IA Ventures led the company’s first round; angel investors include Josh Stylman, a co-founder of Interpublic’s Reprise Media, and Omnicom vet Jerry Neumann.

The Trade Desk is one of a growing number of “demand-side platforms” that are supposed to help ad buyers grab inventory from exchanges like AdECN and Google’s AdX. The idea is that the exchanges, which churn through a staggering number of ad impressions at very fast speeds, require ad buyers to use specialized software and services if they want to make the most of them.

It’s still unclear if ad buyers and publishers will embrace the exchanges. But investors love the notion, as well as the idea that the big ad holding companies, or perhaps even Google (GOOG), will want to buy a DSP or three. So the market for this stuff is beginning to get a bit frothy.

That’s one of the reasons Green is reluctant to use the word DSP to describe his seven-man company. But given that his team is still building the product and that he doesn’t want to talk about it until it’s up and running, we’ll have to use that term for now. You can get just a bit more info here.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik