The Trade Desk Enters the Market With a Bang

Chris Lange

The Trade Desk Inc. (NASDAQ: TTD) entered the market with a bang, well above what anybody expected. The company originally priced its 4.667 million Class A shares at $18, the high end of its expected price range, with an overallotment option for an additional 700,000 shares. However, shares came into the market at $28.75 and have not looked back.

The underwriters for the offering are Citigroup, Jefferies, RBC Capital Markets, Needham and Raymond James.

Note that the voting rights for Class A shares are one vote per share, while Class B shares are worth 10 votes each and can convert on a one-to-one basis to a Class A share. After the offering, Class B shares will represent 99% of the voting power.

The company described itself as follows:

Ad buyers are able to share their customized messages and ideas with the people and in the context they deliberately choose… Our mission is to help our clients compete in the marketplace of ideas—the place in media and public discourse where ideas and messages compete in the open market for the mindshare of men and women around the world… Our platform makes media monetization more effective. Instead of disrupting the foundation of media and advertising, we enable it. By offering compelling improvements in effectiveness, efficiency and reporting, we aim to change media and advertising globally.

The Trade Desk’s SEC filing noted that the company has grown faster than the programmatic market. With $552.3 million in gross ad spending in 2015, its own counted revenue was $113.8 million in 2015. That represents a growth rate of 156% over $44.5 million in 2014, while the overall programmatic advertising spending in the industry grew from $10 billion to $14 billion (per Magna Global data).

Net income was $15.9 million in 2015, up from $5,000 in 2014. The company generated $5.7 million of adjusted EBITDA in 2014 and $39.2 million in 2015. As for its first half of 2016 versus 2015, the company said:

Our net income was $5.7 million for the six months ended June 30, 2015 and $6.6 million for the six months ended June 30, 2016. Our Adjusted EBITDA was $11.1 million for the six months ended June 30, 2015 and $20.1 million for the six months ended June 30, 2016.

The company intends to use a significant portion of the net proceeds from this offering for general corporate purposes, including working capital and funding the expansion of its business, such as expanding sales and marketing programs and making investments in technology and development teams.

Shares of Trade Desk were trading up nearly 60% at $28.78 on Wednesday, with a range of $27.81 to $29.94 on the day as of 12 p.m. Eastern.