Native ad giants Taboola and Outbrain merge to rival Facebook and Google

04/10/2019

Two digital ad platforms, Taboola and Outbrain are to merge to create a rival to Facebook and Google in the online ad space.

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Native ad firm Outbrain partners with publishers CNN, BBC, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Spiegel Online, El País and Sky News to offer sponsored content for brands.

Discovery platfrom Tabooola is headquatered in New York and partners with CNBC, NBC News, USA TODAY, BILD, Sankei, Huffington Post, Microsoft, Business Insider, The Independent, El Mundo, and Le Figaro.

Both companies’ Boards of Directors have approved the transaction. The combined company will provide enhanced advertising efficacy and reach to marketers worldwide, while helping news organisations and other digital properties more effectively find growth in the years to come.

“Over the past decade, I’ve admired Outbrain and the innovation that Yaron Galai, Ori Lahav and the rest of the Outbrain team have brought to the marketplace. By joining forces, we’ll be able to create a more robust competitor to Facebook and Google, giving advertisers a more meaningful choice,” said Adam Singolda, Founder & CEO of Taboola.

According to eMarketer, almost 70% of total U.S. 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 organisations, strengthening journalism over the next decade. This is why we’re merging; this is our mission.”

“We are excited to partner with Taboola. Both Outbrain and Taboola have a shared mission and vision of supporting quality journalism globally and delivering meaningful value to the open web marketplace,” said Yaron Galai, co-Founder and co-CEO of Outbrain. “Ori and I had a vision of helping people discover quality content online, and we see a tremendous opportunity in joining forces in order to bring the next wave of innovation to our publisher partners and advertisers. I’m confident that, together, we will be able to further our mission, which we call our Lighthouse, of bringing the best, most trustworthy content discovery capabilities to users around the world.”

Upon closing, Adam Singolda, the Founder and current CEO of Taboola, will assume the CEO position of the combined company, which will operate under the Taboola brand name, with branding to be determined and to reflect the merger of the two companies. Under the terms of the merger agreement, Outbrain shareholders will receive shares representing 30% of the combined company plus $250 million of cash. The Board of Directors of the combined company will consist of current Taboola and Outbrain Management and Board members.

Eldad Maniv, President & COO of Taboola and David Kostman, co-CEO of Outbrain will work closely together on managing all aspects of the post-merger integration. Yaron Galai will remain committed to the success of the combined company, and actively assist with the transition for the 12 months following the closing

“We are fortunate to have great talent at both Outbrain and Taboola,” said Eldad Maniv. “As soon as the merger closes, we will work to integrate teams, technologies and infrastructures so we can quickly accelerate growth across all dimensions. We have set aggressive goals for bringing value to our customers, driving technology innovation and delivering financial results to our shareholders through increased efficacy and innovation. By working with David and the Outbrain team, I’m confident we can achieve them.”

“For over 10 years, each company has built incredibly powerful solutions that have helped tens of thousands of publishers and advertisers thrive,” said David Kostman. “I look forward to working together with Eldad and his team to bring together the best of each company’s technology, product and business expertise to build a compelling global open web alternative to Google and Facebook.”

The combined company will have over 2,000 employees across 23 offices, serving over 20,000 clients in more than 50 countries across the North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions.

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