As reported in Globes: The funds will be used to build development in Israel, expand in France, Japan and Italy, and further personalize the service.
As for the goal of the fundraising and the manner in which the money raised will be invested in Taboola’s development, Singolda explained that he has three goals: “First, we want to invest in technology and development in our Israel offices. We also want to invest in global markets, with an emphasis on France, Italy, and Japan. In addition, we want to work on the next generation of personalization, so we can give content providers and advertisers additional tools for content recommendation, and increase user engagement.”
Singolda declined to comment on the company value at which the funds were raised, however, various sources estimated that it was between $1 billion and $1.5 billion. Singolda did say that company’s 2014 revenue exceeded $200 million, and that the company has been profitable for the past 18 months.
Taboola has been mentioned a few times as a company that is expected to hold an IPO in the near future, but Singolda wants to convey a different message – one in which it is not in the company’s immediate plans. “We are not preparing for an IPO now, but I am not ruling it out,” he says. Singolda then goes on to say, “I don’t imagine we will hold another private investment round. It seems that the current round is likely pre-IPO. There are many companies that raise a lot of money before an IPO.” Singolda says that the company is ready for an IPO in terms of accounting, and the company brought on David Aber as CFO already a year ago. Moreover, in the company’s press release for the current investment round, it mentioned that Credit Suisse “acted as the exclusive private placement agent to Taboola,” indicating that it is likely that it will also serve as underwriter for the future IPO.
Taboola’s main product is content recommendations that typically appear at the bottom of articles on leading content websites worldwide. The recommendations work in such a way that a content website may choose whether to promote internal or external content. External websites pay Taboola for the traffic they receive, and a portion of that money goes to the content provider on which the recommendation appeared. Taboola says it serves more than 200 billion recommendations to over 550 million unique visitors every month on leading websites such as USA TODAY, NBC News, Business Insider, Chicago Tribune, FOX Sports, and The Weather Channel. Taboola competes directly with Outbrain, another Israeli company that it also considering an IPO. Other companies, including Yahoo! and AOL, compete in this market as well.