Israeli Content Recommendation Firms Taboola and OutBrain Merge to Challenge Google and Facebook

Israeli Content Recommendation Firms Taboola and OutBrain Merge to Challenge Google and Facebook

Rival Israeli content recommendation companies Taboola and Outbrain announced that they are merging to form a combined company that will hopefully become a meaningful advertising competitor to Google and Facebook.

As part of the deal, Taboola is set to pay $250 million for 30 percent of Outbrain’s shares and will hold a 70 percent stake in the merged entity, Globes first reported on Thursday.

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The companies said in a statement that the merger “will provide enhanced advertising efficacy and reach to marketers worldwide, while helping news organizations and other digital properties more effectively find growth in the years to come.

They also said that their consolidated buying platform will provide advertisers with greater efficiencies, increased revenue, accelerated innovation through two strong R&D teams, and better customer experience. “By joining forces, we’ll be able to create a more robust competitor to Facebook and Google, giving advertisers a more meaningful choice,” said Taboola founder and CEO Adam Singolda in a press statement, citing recent data that showed that almost 70 percent of total US digital advertising revenue in 2019 is controlled by only three companies – Google, Facebook, and Amazon.

“We’re passionate about driving growth for our customers and supporting the open web, which we consider critical in a world where walled gardens are strong, and perhaps too strong. Working together, we will continue investing to better connect advertising dollars with local and national news organizations, strengthening journalism over the next decade. This is why we’re merging; this is our mission,” Singolda said.

Singolda, who will head the combined company as CEO, founded Taboola in 2007 with headquarters in New York. Taboola’s major partners include the Daily Mail and USA Today and it has said that it was on track to hit the $1 billion revenue mark in 2019. The company also says its partnered publishers, mobile carriers and handset manufacturers, use Taboola to drive audience monetization and engagement with a reach of over 1.4 billion a month.

Outbrain was founded in 2006 by Yaron Galai and Ori Lahav as an online advertising company specializing in presenting sponsored website links. The company has grown to hold 18 offices worldwide and boasts an impressive 275 billion monthly recommendations in 14 different languages. Customers include CNN, the BBC, Mashable, MSNBC, Slate Haaretz, and Le Parisien.

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