China’s Baidu announced on Monday it is partnering with Taboola to help bring the firm’s content-recommendation services to China. The firms also announced Baidu has taken a stake in Taboola.
Taboola announced a Series E funding round of $117 million a little over a year ago, bringing the total venture capital in the firm to $157 million.
According to a Wall Street Journal source familiar with the matter, Baidu took a $20 to $30 million stake as an expansion of Taboola’s latest funding round.
Statement from Taboola CEO on Baidu partnership
“We’re going to be spending a lot of time with Baidu figuring out the best way to approach the Chinese market and finding out the needs of publishers in the market,” Adam Singolda, Taboola’s chief executive, commented in discussing the new partnership.
Of note, Taboola plans to use the funds from its latest round not just to enter the Chinese market, but to help develop what Singolda calls as “the next generation of personalization,” where content sites will be personalized depending on your reading habits and other data collected about you, moving beyond recommendations at the bottom of pages.
More on Taboola
Taboola’s predictive targeting widgets offer visitors links to content on publishers’ websites. The links are typically found at the bottom of ages. Publishers currently using Taboola widgets include USA Today, NBC News, Business Insider, the Chicago Tribune and Fox Sports.
Taboola has a current annual revenue run-rate of more than $300 million. Moreover, the firm has generated positive EBITDA for seven consecutive quarters, so it doesn’t “have to” don’t have to go public.
Taboola, which is based in the Big Apple, is one of the two primary players in the rapidly expanding content recommendation Web-advertising sector, together with Outbrain, which was originally founded in Israel.
The two companies are competing fiercely with each other as well as with new entrants to the domain, including Yahoo, AOL and WPP PLC.
Analysts also point out that Taboola is also working on a newsroom product for homepage editors. The product is designed to assist them in testing different homepages to find out the highest click-through rates based on type of content and configuration on the page..