Over the past seven years, Adam Singolda has been on a mission to help people find content they may like via recommendations placed at the bottom of articles on websites across the Internet. At first, Taboola, his company, focused exclusively on video recommendations, then made its way into recommending editorial and sponsored written content. Now the company is serving up over 200 billion recommendations per month to more than 550 million users across a wide array of publications that use its product.
We’ve been covering Taboola for a while, you may remember when the company launched its Taboola Choice feature back in 2013 or when they partnered with Yahoo Japan or most recently when the company made its first acquisition by acquiring Perfect Market and launching Taboola X. Today, the company is announcing that it raised its largest single round of funding to date — $117 million, bringing its total amount of capital raised to $157 million.
The funding to me just shows how valuable the discovery space is becoming. Back in October of last year, I wrote an article detailing Taboola’s massive growth, especially in the U.S. market where the company’s recommendations reach more than 86 percent of all U.S. desktop users. This announcement is definitely a validation of all the hard work.
To get some additional perspective on the funding, I spoke with Taboola CEO, Adam Singolda yesterday and he told me some interesting things. Taboola currently has 240 employees of which, half of them are located in Israel. The company generated $200 million in revenue in 2014, but perhaps more incredible is the fact that this past Q4 marked the sixth consecutive profitable quarter at the company.
When I asked what Mr. Singolda planned to use the new capital for, he told me three things:
Faster Product Development
Accelerate product development with a focus on personalization. Mr. Singolda acknowledged that when he started his company, the Internet was a very different place, publishers cared mostly about search traffic, original content, and large screens. Now, half of Taboola’s traffic is from mobile and people are consuming several new types of content, including original, third-party, native, videos, and more. Additionally, he says the company wants to find more opportunities outside the bottom of articles.
Singolda also wants to make Taboola more global, by supporting more languages and entering into new territories.
Mergers & Acquisitions
Lastly, Mr. Singolda indicated that Taboola will be looking to increase its M&A activity — we’ll definitely be keeping an eye on that.
Oh and just in case you we curious, here is the list of investors who participated in the round:
Fidelity Management and Research Co., Marker LLC, Steadfast Capital, Advance Publications (parent of Condé Nast and Advance Digital), Comcast Ventures, Mr. Carlo De Benedetti (Chairman of the Gruppo Editoriale L’Espresso), Groupe Arnault (the controlling shareholder of LVMH), Yahoo! JAPAN.