The Trade Desk IPO; Google Launch Messaging App

ExchangeWire round up some of the biggest stories in the European digital advertising space. In this week’s edition: The Trade Desk IPO; Google launch new messaging app; Facebook integrate with third-party measurement platforms; 500m Yahoo accounts hacked; and FastPay receive growth funding.

IPO of The Trade Desk on NASDAQ

The long-awaited IPO of The Trade Desk (NASDAQ: TTD) happened Wednesday, 21 September, 2016, with share prices debuting on NASDAQ at USD$28.75 (£21.88), 60% higher than the USD$18 (£13.70) IPO price. This strong performance continued, with a share price of USD$30.10 (£22.91) at closing.

Speaking with ExchangeWire, Sacha Berlik, managing director EMEA, The Trade Desk confirmed the IPO will enable The Trade Desk to invest in growth: “Continuing the expansion of programmatic into TV, as well as expanding our footprint around the world – especially in Asia.” Berlik also commented on their long-term market confidence: “[We] believe we are only 2% done and intend to position ourselves to capture the remaining 98% of the total media spend – USD$640bn (£487bn) – that we believe will ultimately move to programmatic.”

Google launch new messaging app: Google Allo

Google have announced they’re launching a “smart new messaging app” for Android and iOS called Google Allo. According to the official Google blog, Google Allo will allow users to make plans, find information, and express themselves more easily in chat. And why is it smart? Google claim the more you use it, the more it improves over time.

A feature of Google Allo is Smart Reply, which will intuitively allow you to respond quickly to messages in your own tone of voice and will even suggest appropriate responses to received picture messages.

Much like the latest iMessage in Apple’s iOS 10 release, Google Allo enables the use of enlarged text, emoji responses and stickers, and photo annotation.

On top of Smart Reply, Google are debuting Google Assistant within the messaging app, bringing its 'OK, Google' feature directly into Google Allo.

Google are also offering end-to-end encryption; but, unlike WhatsApp, it’s not a default setting – to enable it you need to go incognito, as you would in Google’s Chrome browser.

Google seem to be a little late to the party with this launch; but hopefully that means they’ve observed the market and the mistakes being made and are bringing something better to bear.

Facebook integrate with third-party measurement platforms

According to The Drum, Facebook are tieing up with third-party measurement platforms Visual IQ, Oracle, Nielsen, and MarketShare. The notorious ‘walled garden’ is clearly removing a few bricks to show advertisers it is not “grading its own homework”.

Facebook have been very clear not to use the word ‘partnership’; but each company they are working with will bring a different functionality to the table:

- Nielsen’s Catalina Solutions will allow FMCG advertisers to tie back Facebook and Instagram campaigns to in-store sales

- Oracle Data Cloud being the first to integrate with Facebook’s Lift API will allow easier campaign performance measurement for FMCG marketers.

- Visual IQ and MarketShare integration with Atlas will allow multi-touch attribution methodologies for marketers

These integrations are in response to increasing requests from marketers to gain cross-media understanding, according to Brad Smallwood, senior VP of measurement and insight, Facebook. Speaking with The Drum, he said, "Marketers have been looking at these silos for years, and with digital, it just doesn't make sense [...] with all the updates we're helping advertisers measure, but not doing the actual measuring ourselves."

Yahoo hit in hack of 500 million accounts

Yahoo have admitted they were hacked back in 2014 and only realised the hack had taken place last month. The hack, which Yahoo confirms revealed names, email addresses, phone numbers, birth dates and, in some cases, security questions and answers of 500 million Yahoo accounts, is the biggest data breach in history.

Yahoo were recently bought by Verizon for USD$4.83bn (£3.67bn), who, according to CNET, were only informed of the breach two days prior, meaning they have limited understanding of the potential impact.

Yahoo are urging all users who haven't changed their passwords since 2014 to do so immediately.

FastPay receives strategic funding

In more ad tech financial news, financial technology company, FastPay announced last week the close of a strategic investment for an undisclosed amount from Citi Ventures. The investment will allow FastPay to grow the flexible lending and financial solutions it delivers globally, according to the press release.

To date, FastPay have originated nearly USD$1.5bn (£1.14bn) in loans to digital businesses and have integrated with accounting software providers, bank account monitoring, and all major media technology companies. The company has an employee base of more than 70 team members across its global offices in North America and Europe.

Of the news, FastPay’s founder and CEO, Jed Simon said: “We are thrilled to partner with Citi Ventures and access the global reach and expertise of a leading global organisation as we expand our services and reach new customers.”