Taboola is joining the SPAC craze with an open plan.

Taboola, a content recommendation engine, is expected to go public in the second half of this year, and it will be merged with SPAC (Special Purpose Acquisition Company) to become the latest company to take advantage of hot trends.

Today, the company launched in the second quarter of the Israeli company ION Acquisition Corp. It announced plans to merge with 1. The company was listed on the New York Stock Exchange last year, raising $255 million in SPAC.

According to Taboola’s founder and CEO Adam Singolda, the company plans to raise $554 million in a $255 million trust from ION, along with $285 million PIPE financing from investors including Fidelity and Baron Capital. is. Following the merger with ION, Taboola will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange as a TBLA ticker with an implied value of $2.6 billion. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021.

Prior to the recent fundraising round, Taboola raised $160 million, and the company said it would close 2020 with $1.2 billion in revenue, with operating income of $34 million and adjusted EBITDA of $100 million. After the deal is closed, the company expects to hold $600 million in cash and cash equivalents and plans to invest $100 million this year in R&D efforts in areas such as e-commerce, artificial intelligence and video capabilities in TVs and other devices. is.

Taboola currently works with more than 13,000 advertisers and 9,000 digital assets, but is often associated with clickbait content. However, Singolda says that 50% of clicks retain users on the publisher’s website. The other half said he had room for more advertisers as well as other types of content. The company has also expanded its content moderation team and currently has 50 employees reviewing more than 500,000 URLs each week to address issues related to misinformation or content quality.

“As a publicly traded company, we can look at non-organic growth, so we can secure it,” Singolda says. “We will have money and cash. And beyond that, we are looking for ways to expand from a growth perspective, such as e-commerce. How do you activate Instagram-style shopping experiences and publisher websites? It’s like buying a shirt now on a website. Or TV Ads: TV ads mostly appear on YouTube and Facebook, but why shouldn’t they show more on the open web? So what do you do? Integration, integration with devices such as Apple News, but applies to the rest of the world. We want to do that. And connected TV. I want to participate in all the apps I watch like TV over time. So all of these things will really help reinforce it.”

Taboola is just the most recent company to take advantage of the SPAC craze, which has become increasingly popular as an alternative for listing over the past year. Often nicknamed “Blank Check Company,” SPAC lists stocks as shell companies and then targets private companies that will be the real drivers of revenue. Upon completion of the acquisition, the target company is disclosed, skipping the official IPO route. ㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ ㅇㅇㅇ Another company listed through SPAC last year Includes Group Nine Media, United Wholesale Mortgage, DraftKings, and Virgin Galactic.

Some say SPAC can avoid the usual investigation and transparency that comes with a typical roadshow. lately Forbes Research has shown that hedge fund groups are making 20% ​​returns on SPAC with little risk.

However, ION CEO Gilad Shany said Taboola investors and clients “will see a stable company, a growing company and an independent company,” raising the company’s profile even to consumers who may not always be aware of the company behind all the content below. Will. Web site He added that ION is keeping SPAC small and “investing a lot more capital in PIPE than we do in SPAC itself.”

“It’s a company that can benefit significantly from listing in several sectors,” said Shany. “Advertisers and publishers who know that Taboola is a publicly traded company have transparency in their submissions and will allow many companies to know that it is a profitable company with a very strong balance sheet with more than $5 billion in cash. . The publishers and the ads look at us from different perspectives.”

The news came just months after another Israeli content recommendation company, Taboola and Outbrain, canceled the $850 million merger. Shany said the companies did not participate in the discussion until the end of the Taboola-Outbrain merger. But he says, “sometimes the stars are aligned.”

“Our SPAC has been revealed exactly as these conversations are broken,” says Shany. “And it was clear that these companies were looking for the next move. And we were able to connect with Taboola very quickly after the IPO. And in my opinion, I’m really lucky to be in the right place at the right time. Had our IPO been six months ahead or six months later, we probably weren’t Taboola’s partners. So sometimes, you know, timing is everything and it turns out just lucky timing.”

Founded in 2007, Taboola has been competing over the years to become a competitive competitor to Google and Facebook by offering advertisers and publishers an alternative to the so-called “walled garden”. With 500 million active users every day, Taboola says it currently delivers 1 trillion recommendations per month. With many ad tech companies promoting the “open web” that describes the Internet beyond Google and Facebook, Singolda says, “The world deserves a garden that is not huge and has no walls.”

“So I think it’s a good time to do it,” he finally says about the listing. “And we have the money to support it. There is a huge market here. It’s a $64 billion market for the open web only. Now everything is basically like Google Facebook, Amazon. So it’s a big market. It’s very fragmented and there aren’t any big companies on the open web, and we think we can create a lot more value by making it public. “


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