Taboola is planning to go public through a merger with ION Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company or SPAC. The digital ad company will trade on the New York Stock Exchange with the ticker symbol “TBLA” after the transaction closes.
Taboola prepares for SPAC merger
According to CNBC, Taboola is known for the content boxes it places on many sites across the internet. The boxes typically contain headlines such as "8 Celebs Who have Severe Illnesses" or "Look Who's Going Bankrupt Next in North America." Publishers earn ad revenue through Taboola's boxes. The company said over 13,000 advertisers use its content boxes to reach more than 500 million daily active users.
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The SPAC deal is set to close during the second quarter. It gives Taboola a pro forma valuation of approximately $2.6 billion. When the deal closes, the company expects to have about $600 million in cash and equivalents on its balance sheet. In a press release, Taboola said ION Acquisition Corp. has $259 million in trust. Taboola has also secured about $285 million in primary and secondary PIPE financing from institutional investors. The investors have committed to funding over 20% of the PIPE.
Among the institutional investors participating in the SPAC merger are Fidelity Management and Research Company, Baron Capital Group, BlackRock funds and accounts, Hedosophia and the Federated Hermes Kaufmann Funds. Exor Seeds is also participating.
Adam Singolda founded Taboola in 2007 and has served as its CEO since then. The company's content boxes allow website owners to tap into recommendations driven by artificial intelligence and effectively access users on the open web. Taboola estimates the fragmented advertising market on the open web at about $64 million last year. Its recommendation platform provides editorial and paid recommendations natively, adding value for website partners, advertisers and users.
The company has over 9,000 digital properties with long-term, global and exclusive partnerships, including publishers like Business Insider, NBC News, CNBC and The Independent. Taboola also has partnerships with device manufacturers and uses its readership data for precision targeting.
"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 said in a statement. "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."