How FirstMark and Tapad Partnered on One of the Largest Venture-Backed Tech Exits in NYC History

When we first started working with Are Traasdahl more than five years ago he barely had an idea. There were no employees, no products, not even a company name.

But, we knew Are was a great serial entrepreneur and our interests were aligned. Mobile was in its early innings and we believed there would be a wave of exciting opportunities to come out of this emerging ecosystem.

We knew Are had the vision, but more importantly, we knew he would stay focused on the day-to-day execution necessary to scale the company.

Hitting Milestones

Tapad believed that as consumers spread their time across multiple devices — phone, television, tablets, and computers — there needed to be a way to capture that cross-device data. Tapad could become the market leader for mobile identity. Their technology could bring an unprecedented understanding of consumer behavior across related screens and the ability to reach the right people on the right device at the right time.

However, the problem we were solving was not yet completely apparent to the market. It made sense in concept, but nobody had created a cross-device solution before. No potential customer had ever implemented a cross-device solution. That resulted in a lot of doors slammed in our face.

A milestone for the company was its first big contract with Sprint. While it was great to book some meaningful revenue, the bigger boon was feedback from Sprint on the value of the product. It was a huge proof point and gave us confidence to build out the team and continue driving the business forward.

Safety and Security

One of the most rewarding takeaways from Tapad’s successful exit is knowing that Are found safety and security in our partnership.

FirstMark led every round of funding for Tapad, but we were also deeply involved in sourcing talent, customers, and expertise to grow the business. We are enthusiastically committed to operating a post-investment platform that provides our entrepreneurs the resources to succeed. Tapad is a perfect example of how that commitment pays off.

A Revolution in NYC

When Tapad was founded in 2010, the New York technology scene was really starting to take off. It was amazing to see talent come out of big companies to help startups build something special.

Tapad was one of those startups at the forefront of NYC tech. It’s not only a case study on the emergence of a great company solving a non-obvious problem, but an example of a company that leveraged the best of New York to create a world class exit.

We’re very proud to have been on this journey with Tapad, achieving one of the the largest venture-backed exits in our city’s history. We roll up our sleeves every day to continue building on the momentum the New York tech has gained in recent years.

Tapad has been an amazing member of the FirstMark family. It’s bittersweet to have them exit the portfolio, but we know they will continue to grow and thrive — stretching their lead in the identity, data and mobile advertising ecosystems.

Learn more about Tapad at