Google Ventures makes $4.5M investment in Trada

Trada, a company that brings small businesses together with paid-search experts, will receive $5.75 million in funding led by Google Ventures.

Trada's paid-search marketplace is getting $5.75 million in venture funding led by Google Ventures.
Trada's paid-search marketplace is getting $5.75 million in venture funding led by Google Ventures. Trada

Google Ventures is expected to announce its latest investment decision Wednesday, sinking $4.5 million into paid-search middleman Trada.

Trada's third round of venture investment will be led by Google Ventures, with previous investor Foundry Group contributing another $1.25 million, the companies plan to announce Wednesday morning. Trada, based in Boulder, Colo., brings small businesses interested in modest paid-search campaigns together with work-for-hire search marketing experts looking for side gigs, said Niel Robertson, founder and CEO of the 50-employee start-up.

As with many of Google Ventures' other investments , paid search is a topic near and dear to the company. Paid search ads still account for about two-thirds of Google's overall revenue, and Trada runs a system that helps get smaller business unsure of how to mount a search campaign into the mix.

The company solicits small businesses that want to spend around $5,000 to $50,000 a month in search advertising but don't have the kind of in-house expertise required to get a campaign up and running, Robertson said. Those customers set metrics for how much they want to pay per click or per conversion, and if a network of around 550 paid-search consultants in Trada's databases can find a way to lower those costs, the consultant gets the difference: minus a 25 percent cut to Trada.

The end result is more businesses in the search advertising market, which obviously helps Google. Robertson said his company and Google did not talk about a potential acquisition as part of Google's never-ending campaign to buy up all the interesting Web start-ups that strike its fancy.

About the author

    Tom Krazit writes about the ever-expanding world of Google, as the most prominent company on the Internet defends its search juggernaut while expanding into nearly anything it thinks possible. He has previously written about Apple, the traditional PC industry, and chip companies. E-mail Tom.


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