Boulder ad-tech firm Trada shuts down

BOULDER – Once one of the darlings of Boulder’s bustling startup scene, advertising technology firm Trada Inc. has shuttered its operations due to an inability to pay creditors, announcing the move on the company’s website on Monday.

Officials for the company, which had been backed financially by Google Ventures and Boulder’s Foundry Group, couldn’t immediately be reached.

“We recently became unable to pay Trada’s creditors, who have rights to all of Trada’s assets as collateral,” chief executive Matt Harada wrote in a letter posted on Trada’s homepage. “Today these creditors have instructed us to cease operations of the Trada marketplace.”

A Google Ventures official declined comment.

“Trada was an interesting idea, but unfortunately one that didn’t work out,” Foundry Group managing partner Seth Levine, who had served on the Trada board, said in an email. “The team gave it a great effort and I’m thankful for how hard they pushed to build the business. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to make the business sustainable with the funding that the company had available.”

The closure wraps up what has been a tumultuous 18 months for the company, which aided advertisers with their pay-per-click marketing campaigns.

Founded in 2008, the company was listed No. 27 on Inc. magazine’s list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies in 2013 based on growing revenue from $153,000 in 2009 to $12.6 million in 2012. The company boasted 75 employees at that point, but in November of that year laid off all but about a dozen of those, according to various reports at the time, in a restructuring. The company left its office in the former Daily Camera building on Pearl Street and moved to a smaller space a few blocks away.

Levine said Trada had seven employees at the end. He declined to comment on how much money the company owes creditors or what led to Trada’s change of fortunes.

The company had raised roughly $19 million from investors, including a $9 million round in 2011 and a $5.75 million round in 2010. Two $1 million rounds had been raised since those, the last of which came in the spring of last year around the time Harada replaced founder Niel Robertson as chief executive of the company.

“We truly regret the difficulty that this will cause our clients and community and we are working within the confines of the creditors’ rights to mitigate these difficulties,” Harada wrote Monday. “At this time I am not able to provide any additional information, but will work with our creditors to work through this challenging situation.”

In the letter, Harada also directed clients to reach out to WordStream and White Shark Media about seeking similar services to those that had been offered by Trada.