Taboola, the leading discovery platform, today announced a multi-million dollar strategic investment partnership with Baidu Inc. (NASDAQ: BIDU), the leading Chinese language Internet search provider. The partnership brings together two cutting-edge technology companies that are re-defining the “search” and “discovery” categories across the world’s biggest markets. Together, Taboola and Baidu plan to bring discovery to the Chinese market, where mobile is the number one way people go online.
The investment from Baidu is a follow-on to the $117 million Series E round of financing announced by Taboola this past February, and represents another significant vote of confidence in Taboola and the future of content discovery. Baidu ranks as the top website in China, and fourth most popular in the world (according to global traffic ranking firm Alexa), receiving tens of billions of search queries every day, about 75 percent of China’s combined PC and mobile search market share.
Taboola has experienced massive growth since its inception in 2007, rising from less than $10 million annual revenue in 2012 to over $200 million in 2014. The Series E round in February was led by Fidelity Management and Research Company, and included existing investors Marker LLC and Steadfast Capital, as well as new strategic investors Advance Publications (parent of Condé Nast and Advance Digital), Comcast Ventures, Mr. Carlo De Benedetti (chairman of the Gruppo Editoriale L’Espresso), Groupe Arnault (the controlling shareholder of LVMH), Yahoo! JAPAN, and others.
“Though our roots are in China, Baidu actively seeks out innovative technology companies abroad to partner and invest with,” said Peter Fang, senior director of Corporate Development at Baidu. “Taboola’s remarkable vision and growth over the past few years captured the admiration of our executive team, and we’re very excited about the potential of the discovery market worldwide.”
Taboola serves more than 200 billion monthly content recommendations to over 550 million users across some of the Web’s most innovative publisher sites in the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Thailand, India, Japan and Israel.
Media and technology partners around the world have leveraged Taboola’s technology to launch local initiatives. Italy-based Gruppo Editoriale L’Espresso worked with Taboola on rolling out a new sponsored content business. Last year Taboola announced a strategic partnership with Yahoo! JAPAN to launch “Yahoo! Content Discovery,” introducing content recommendations onto hundreds of premium partner sites across the Yahoo! Japan News network.
“We’re extremely honored to gain the support of such an esteemed global partner as Baidu,” said Adam Singolda, founder and CEO of Taboola. “We believe that discovery has massive growth potential in both existing and untapped markets around the world, and we plan to grow this new category even further with Baidu to help change the way people in China discover content they may like and never knew existed.”
Taboola’s predictive technology analyzes hundreds of real-time signals (including collaborative filtering, geography, social media trends, and more) to deliver highly-personalized content recommendations. Its platform includes sophisticated targeting capabilities for marketers, and first-of-its-kind content optimization tools for publishers that are provided free of charge.
Taboola is the leading discovery platform, serving over 200 billion recommendations to over 550 million unique visitors every month on some of the Web’s most innovative publisher sites, including USA TODAY, Business Insider, NBC News, Chicago Tribune, and The Weather Channel. Headquartered in New York City, Taboola also has offices in Pasadena, London, Tel Aviv, New Delhi, and Bangkok. Publishers, marketers, and agencies leverage Taboola to retain users on their sites, monetize their traffic, and distribute their content to drive high-quality audiences. Learn more at www.taboola.com and follow @taboola on Twitter.
Baidu, Inc. is the leading Chinese language Internet search provider. As a technology-based media company, Baidu aims to provide the best and most equitable way for people to find what they’re looking for. In addition to serving individual Internet search users, Baidu provides an effective platform for businesses to reach potential customers. Baidu’s ADSs trade on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “BIDU”. Currently, ten ADSs represent one Class A ordinary share.