Taboola has gone public via a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) in a deal that values the native advertising firm at around $2.6bn. The combined company with ION Acquisition Corp. will operate under the Taboola name and trade on the New York Stock Exchange.
Taboola has also secured approximately $285m in primary and secondary private investment in public equity (PIPE) financing from institutional investors, including funds affiliated with ION and Phoenix Insurance. By the close of the transaction, expected in Q2 2021, Taboola expects to have $600m in cash and cash equivalents on its balance sheet.
Investors involved in the PIPE deal include Fidelity Management & Research Company, Baron Capital Group, funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, Hedosophia, the Federated Hermes Kaufmann Funds, and others. Exor Seeds will also join the PIPE.
“Taboola is embarking on an exciting new journey as a public company, a milestone only made possible by years of trusted partnerships with tens of thousands of digital properties and advertisers who I want to personally thank for believing in Taboola and me for years,” said Adam Singolda, Founder and CEO at Taboola.
“Today, we’re proud of the Taboola team that has made us a ubiquitous presence on the open web and for helping to bring our category-defining technology to market. Aside from our technology and team, Taboola’s success is built on a simple idea – deliver value to our partners in a way where we only grow if our partners grow, in a true win-win manner. This is in stark contrast to ‘walled gardens’ of closed ecosystems that don’t always have their partners’ best interests in mind.”
Taboola, founded in 2007, has plans to invest more than $100m in research and development growth initiatives in areas including artificial intelligence, eCommerce, TV, and device manufacturers.
“As we move forward, there is immense opportunity for Taboola to continue to be the champion for the open web, and those who do business there,” Singolda added. “Over the next 10 years I see Taboola growing to power recommendations for anything, such as eCommerce, games, applications, and I see those recommendations everywhere, on every device. They will live on our connected TVs at home, recommending shows people love, as well as in people’s cars surfacing content they love, podcasts, and text-to-audio from the open web. I’m excited to have Gilad Shany join our board and journey, and I’m pleased to welcome the ION family of investors and supporters.”