This year marks the 20th anniversary of Tradedoubler and we thought we’d share a few things about what 20 years have meant not only for our company but also for our clients and partners. There are many highlights throughout the past 20 years that we are very proud of, but let’s start at the very beginning.
Our founding story
Tradedoubler was founded in September 1999 by Martin Lorentzon and Felix Hagnö as the first European affiliate network with an idea to offer performance-based affiliate marketing solutions for advertisers and publishers. They developed a solid platform and infrastructure enabling merchants to create relationships with thousands of affiliates and offering affiliates a wide range of services, with the core service being pay-for-performance marketing. Tradedoubler’s management team in the year 2000. From the left to the right: the former CTO, Peter Sterky (CFO), Pia Persson (Finance Director), Felix Hagnö (CEO and Co-founder), Håkan Borg and Martin Lorentzon (co-founder).
Three months later, the Swedish e-commerce community was quick to recognise the benefits of Tradedoubler and during the year 2000, Tradedoubler initiated a roll out to all major European markets. It was a massive success story since its launch and by the end of that year, the network was counting more than 260 affiliate programs and over 70,000 high-quality affiliates.
In 2001 Tradedoubler won the “Guldmusen” prize, one of the oldest IT prizes in Sweden, as the IT-rookie of the year for a patented platform for performance-based marketing and sales.
During 2002 Tradedoubler had reached profitability and doubled both revenue and gross profit, generating sales of more than €200 million for its advertisers during 2002, exceeding all forecasts. The number of active clients had also increased during the year by 30%, to 400 advertisers.
Two years later, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden presented Tradedoubler with the “Export Hermes” award in recognition of its successful export strategy. By this time, Tradedoubler had become Europe’s leading supplier of online marketing and sales solutions to over 700 advertisers, almost half a million quality publishers and some of the leading agencies across Europe.
From strength to strength
In 2005 Tradedoubler was listed on NASDAQ Stockholm and launched their white-label solution, a global partner management platform that allows advertisers and agencies to track and manage their digital marketing activities. The solution is powered by the same technology as Tradedoubler’s public affiliate network and can be used as an in-house tracking and channel de-duplication platform or as an affiliate management solution.
In March 2006 Tradedoubler acquired a small start-up called Advertigo, which developed a contextual advertising technology, from founder Daniel Ek. This is how Lorentzon and Ek met and came up with the idea of creating a legal platform to distribute music online – they launched Spotify two years later.
Tradedoubler then acquired The Search Works, the UK largest search engine marketing company and sister company The Technology Works. The acquisition expanded Tradedoubler’s portfolio into the search market and provided opportunities for further geographic expansion.
In 2012, Tradedoubler was the first pan-European network to launch an integrated e-commerce and m-commerce affiliate offering to help its advertisers extend their online programmes to meet consumers’ desire to research and buy via their mobile devices. Tradedoubler booth at Dmexco 2012
In April 2014 Tradedoubler appointed Matthias Stadelmeyer as CEO.
The same year Tradedoubler launched a business intelligence tool providing advertisers with detailed live information on programme performance through customised dashboards that visualised complex data and enabled users to understand programme performance and optimise results.
In January 2015, Tradedoubler acquired the independent German technology company, Adnologies to enhance its existing tech arsenal and extend its current offering in line with its new corporate strategy. A few months later Tradedoubler launched Cookieless Tracking technology to allow online behaviour to be tracked, even when a cookie is not present, by creating a device fingerprint.
In January 2015 Tradedoubler acquired the independent German technology company, Adnologies, a data-driven advertising specialist.
In March Reworld Media became the principal owner of Tradedoubler by acquiring a 19,1 stake in the company.
And in September 2015 Tradedoubler launched Cookieless tracking technology to allow online behavior to be tracked, even when a cookie is not present, by creating a device fingerprint.
In 2016 we also launched our User Journey insights, part of our Business Intelligence tool, giving advertisers full visibility of their entire online customer journeys from affiliate data to the full spectrum of their digital marketing activity.
During the second quarter of 2016, Tradedoubler launched Cross-Device Tracking, enabling our partners to better analyse the impact of marketing activity across desktop and mobile. Thanks to our new solution advertisers can now detect consumers shopping across multiple devices using deterministic matching, whereby consumer profiles are made based on an anonymous connection between users and their devices.
The same year we expanded our performance marketing offering to South East Asia with a new office in Singapore, working with a number of existing and new clients to develop performance marketing strategies across the Asian region and the company acquired R Advertising, an email marketing company.
In 2016 Tradedoubler also introduced their programmatic solution helping advertisers to identify potential new customers. Through a combination of data-driven insight and artificial intelligence Tradedoubler helps to understand purchase behavior and to identify and reach new customers with targeted advertising.
In August 2017, Tradedoubler acquired Metapic, a popular platform for product recommendation within multiple large publishers within influencer and premium lifestyle media. Six months later we have seen impressive results as the platform has attracted 20,000 users with a reach in excess of 2 million unique visitors per week in Sweden, Norway and Denmark. During 2018 Metapic has been rolled out in the UK, France, Germany, Poland, Spain and Italy.
In November 2018 Reworld Media announced a recommended public cash offer to the shareholders and held 40% of Tradedoubler’s shares after the offer expired.
In that time, we’ve grown into one of the most successful pan-European affiliate networks and now do business in more than 80 countries, helping over 2,000 leading advertiser brands to achieve their business goals through our established affiliate network of over 180,000 active publishers.
The development team at Tradedoubler are always working to deliver new features that keep our offering at the cutting edge of the market.
We believe that being open is good for everyone. In March 2019 we therefor announced our product vision of an Open Platform with global APIs that allows all our business partners to use our platform, technology and functionalities to connect and grow their business. By being the first affiliate network to offer a platform that is fully open, transparent and automated we encourage collaboration and inspire innovation for a new generation of affiliate marketing. At the same time we announced the usage of Blockchain technology for the storage of data. Transactional data will be accessible and fully transparent to eliminate fraud and enable the development of new functionalities around payments, reporting and attribution.
At Tradedoubler, we believe that simplicity and flexibility are the keys to help our publishers and advertisers connect and grow their business. In March 2019 we have released a new Publisher Interface and new Publisher API as the first applications based on the Open Platform concept. This way users can quickly access the information they need to make smarter and faster business decisions and they can easily access the services that will help them increase their revenues.
Through the year we will continuously deliver new functionalities to the publisher platform while working on the dedicated APIs and interfaces for advertisers and agencies. The availability of these new interfaces and the matching APIs is scheduled for the second half of 2019. Key deliveries will include multiple publisher user accounts and role-based access, direct publisher recruitment for our advertisers and agencies, validations, creative and commission APIs.
Thank you to our longstanding partners for 20 years of successful partnerships, here’s to celebrating the next successful chapter together.