Taboola goes video, buys ConvertMedia for shy of $100M

Jul 31st, 2016 | By | Category: Ad Operations

Taboola, the startup behind the publishing widget that recommends more content at the end of articles online, has made an acquisition to expand its horizons beyond the written word: it has bought ConvertMedia, a recommendation engine designed specifically to sniff out and recommend online videos at scale.


Terms of the deal are not being disclosed but we understand from sources that it is in the very high double-digit millions, just under $100 million.

ConvertMedia, which is based out of Israel, had raised an undisclosed amount of funding from investors that included Spark Capital and Pitango (the latter also being an investor in Taboola). ConvertMedia was generating around $50 million in annualised revenue prior to the deal.

(For some context, Taboola itself has raised around $160 million, says it has touched hardly any of that because it’s currently profitable, and is valued at around $1 billion.)

Taboola’s CEO Adam Singolda said that today Taboola serves 360 billion content recommendations daily to around 1 billion unique users (double the number it covered in February 2015), with publishers that use its widgets including heavily trafficked sites from AOL (which owns TechCrunch), Conde Nast, and the Daily Mail Group, among many others.

The hope is that adding in ConvertMedia will help Taboola reach 1 billion video views per day to put it into closer competition with the biggest players in video today, and set it further apart from the likes of more direct competitors like Outbrain.

“If Taboola streams more than 1 billion videos daily, then Taboola becomes a significant source of video supply, which today is mostly Facebook, Snapchat and YouTube,” he said. 

Taboola is hoping that ConvertMedia’s existing footprint and technology — which is getting integrated into its wider platform — will mean that publishers will use its widget alongside videos as they already do with articles.

“We could send you to a YouTube video already but not directly out of our feed,” Singolda said. “Now we have access to buyers and marketers who want to syndicate videos on to other publishers’ sites. We have the ability to optimise and recommend those,” similar to what they do already with written content by circulating around traffic by way of its widgets. ConvertMedia also brings to Taboola a lot of relationships, he said, “eight years of business partnerships with TV buyers for syndication,” he said. “We used to syndicate and send people away, but and now we can also bring people in.”


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