Digital Ad Company Taboola Is Going Public

By Elijah Labby Tuesday, February 2, 2021

The ubiquitous digital ad company Taboola (of “You’ll never believe what these celebrities look like now!” fame) is going public via a special purpose acquisition company, more commonly known as a SPAC deal.

A SPAC is essentially a shell company with no commercial operations, but they can be useful. A SPAC offers several benefits — first and foremost, it makes the initial public offering (IPO) process simpler by allowing the SPAC to go public and then merging with the concerned company later.

Such is the case with Taboola, which announced that it would be acquired by the SPAC company ION Acquisition Corp. ION Acquisition Corp. went public in 2020 with the reported intention of acquiring an Israeli tech business.

Now, the company that supplies recommendation advertisements for 9,000 websites, including CNBC, NBC News, Business Insider, The Independent, and El Mundo, is going public and is expected to reach a business valuation of $2.6 billion — a testament to the power and magnitude of the online advertising business.

A woman looking at a webpage on a tablet.

A Look at the Numbers

The business is also expected to raise $545 million through the merger, some of which company founder and CEO Adam Singolda says will be allocated toward research and development for the business.

The company, as well as ION Acquisition Corp.’s business, has big plans for the online advertising industry. In a statement, ION CEO Gilad Shany said Taboola was the company that he was looking for and could challenge other industry leaders like Google.

“We believe Taboola is an open web recommendation leader which is well positioned to challenge the walled gardens,” he said. “We were looking to merge with a global technology leader with Israeli DNA and we found that in Taboola. The combination of long-term partnerships built by the company with thousands of open web digital properties, their direct access to advertisers, massive global reach and proven AI technology, allows Taboola to provide significant value to their partners while also achieving attractive unit economics as the company grows.”

The Future for Taboola

If you’re looking to make money, the online advertising business is where to be. A company like Taboola or Google Advertising sits in a market growing at a compounded annual rate of 21.6% and believed to hit a valuation of $982.82 billion by 2025, according to Mordor Intelligence.

What this means, essentially, is that a company like Taboola has a lot to gain by taking over the market. A SPAC merger with a company like ION brings them one step closer to that goal and allows the public to invest directly in their fortunes, making Taboola one of the most unique companies in the business.

About the Author

Headshot for author Elijah Labby

Elijah Labby is a graduate of the National Journalism Center. He has previously written for Broadband Breakfast, a technology and internet policy website.

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