Baidu Makes Strategic Investment in Content Recommendation Engine Taboola

Chinese search engine company Baidu has made a strategic investment in content recommendation engine Taboola. The investment amount is still undisclosed, but according to TechCrunch, it is in the ‘multi-millions’. In February, the company had secured $117 million in series E funding led by Fidelity Management and Research Company, the investment advisor to Fidelity’s family of mutual funds.

This is the third company with Israeli operations that Baidu has invested so far – others include music app maker Tonara and video tech developer Pixellot. Taboola is directly competing with another Israeli startup, Outbrain, which has raised $99 million in six rounds and is rumored to have filed for an IPO this past November.

Taboola is a content recommendation platform that pairs advertisers with publishers, delivers more than 200 billion content recommendations to over 550 million users every month. The company claims to have 5M+ pieces of content in its marketplace. Its publisher sites include the Atlantic Monthly, NBC, Euro Sport, Business Insider, Mail Online, Time Warner Cable, and the Weather Channel.

Founded in 2007 by CEO Adam Singolda in Israel, the company started out as an engine for personalized video recommendations and later moved into editorial and sponsored content recommendations. It also having offices in New York, London, Pasadena, Bangkok and Tel Aviv. A significant portion of Taboola’s current revenue comes from mobile devices and it has earned $200 million in 2014.

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