Home Google Invests $4.25M in Crowdsourced Online Ad Marketplace Trada

Google Invests $4.25M in Crowdsourced Online Ad Marketplace Trada

Back in May, we mentioned that Boulder startup Trada – a crowdsourced solution for creating keyword-based pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaigns – had introduced support for Microsoft’s Bing search engine. Today, Trada is getting a huge leg-up from Bing’s competition as Google Ventures has invested over $4 million, leading the company’s latest round of funding. Joining Google in the Series C round is Foundry Group, whose $1.5M investment mark’s the Bouler firms third investment with Trada.

“We’re really happy to have another significant venture firm taking a position in the crowdsourcing ecosystem.”
– Neil Robertson

Trada allows small businesses and large ad agencies to run search marketing campaigns across






with the help of the company’s rapidly expanding community of paid search experts. Trada now boasts over 500 total search experts, and says another 300 are on a waiting list to participate. Over 200 business and agencies currently use trada, 55 of which signed up just last month. Of those that joined in June, a full quarter came from large ad agencies.

“We’re growing very quickly and we’re very happy with the uptake,” Trada founder and CEO Neil Robertson told ReadWriteWeb. “Google Ventures looked at our businesses and the assessment was that our growth was interesting to them.”

New Cash, New Goals

The $5.75 million C round brings Trada’s total fundraising to just under $8 million. Robertson says the company has been extremely tight budgeted thus far, spending just $2 million over the last two years. The sudden influx of cash will give the company breathing room to expand and try some new things, he says.

First, the company plans to help provide improved and tailored services to both its large agency customers and its smaller business customers. Secondly, it will expand internationally to run campaigns in more countries. Currently, Trada accepts international customers and experts in the U.K., Australia and Canada, but has yet to brand out to non-English speaking countries.

Lastly, as part of the company’s long-term goals, Trada is looking to extend its crowdsourced PPC ad model to other forms of online advertisements. Robertson says the company started with PPC ads because of the obvious crowdsourcing benefits to keyword campaigns. Now the company realizes that other ad styles – including display, banner, mobile and video ads – can also work on this model. The company also expects to allow for campaigns on newer ad platforms, like Facebook and Twitter in the near future.

The Google Bump

Google piece of the funding comes from Google Ventures, the company’s investment arm. Rich Miner, one of the original co-founders of Android, has been on boards with Robertson in the past and now manages the Google Ventures fund. Miner joins Robertson and Foundry Group’s Seth Levine as members of Trada’s board.

While the connection between Google and Trada is an easy one to make, Robertson says that not preferential treatment is given to any of the search giant’s investments. As Robertson added, Google likes to make sure that “all boats rise with the tide” when it comes to its investments. The relationship will also not affect or limit the services which Trada offers to its customers, said Robertson.

The fresh cash certainly puts a smile on the faces at Trada, but out of everything, Robertson is most excited for the crowdsourcing community at large.

“We’re really happy to have another significant venture firm taking a position in the crowdsourcing ecosystem,” said Robertson, who heads an information group of similar companies known as the Crowdsortium. “It’s a good sign to see larger tech companies in the evolution of this industry.”

Photo by Flickr user horiavalan.

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The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

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