Tapad builds cross-channel advertising business


In 2013, the New York-based startup Tapad was growing fast based on its claim to be able to track and target individual consumers across many devices - desktop and laptop computers, TVs, smartphones, and tablets. The technique goes well beyond cookies, which enable sites to track individuals across the web on a single device by tagging them with unique codes. To track people across all these devices, the company's software analyses billions of data points including cookies, cellphone IDs, wifi connections, browsing histories, and website registrations - as well as others that the company won't disclose - looking for clues that help match the owners of these data streams. Once matched, ads can be served to them, a technique known as "retargeting" - across all their devices. The company claims the matching does not include real-world names. Founder Are Traasdahl got the idea from his experience advertising his previous company, the early app store Thumbplay, which he sold to ClearChannel in 2011. Three years after its founding, Tapad claimed 160 clients including such well-known customers as Audi, American Airlines, and TurboTax; served 2 billion ads a month across 18,000 online publishers' sites; and was turning profitable.



tags: Tapad, retargeting, cross-channel linking, advertising, Telenor

Writer: JJ Colao; Erick Schonfeld

Publication: Forbes; TechCrunch

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