Video recommendations startup Taboola is growing fast, now serving up more than 800 million recommendations per day. But it sees a huge opportunity to expand even more quickly, and is looking to Europe as untouched territory in the recommendation and video syndication market. With that in mind, it’s hired former Groupon country manager Nadav Rosenberg to lead the charge in that region.
Taboola has built a platform for recommending videos on publisher sites, with a widget that provides a list of three-to-five thumbnails relevant to the page that users are looking at or video that they are watching. Related videos that it serves up can come from the publisher’s own site or include content from Taboola’s network of syndicated content creators. That allows publishers to increase their available video inventory — and when viewers watch third-party content, ad revenue is shared between Taboola, the publisher, the content creator. It’s a win-win-win situation.
In the U.S., Taboola has lined up a pretty impressive list of publishing partners, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Bloomberg BusinessWeek. So it’s hoping to grow outside its home market and expand overseas. First stop: Europe.
To lead that expansion, it’s tapped Rosenberg, former GM of Groupon U.K. and part of the team during its expansion into Europe. Prior to that, he worked with McKinsey. Based in London, Rosenberg will oversee Taboola’s office there and its eventual expansion into other key markets throughout Europe. Taboola CEO Adam Singolda told me via phone that the company currently has five employees in the region, but that it’s planning to quickly ramp up and add offices in Germany, France, Italy, and other European countries.
Taboola has already nabbed some key clients through Europe, including Trinity Mirror Group, The Independent, Northcliffe Media, BBC (Top Gear), and LiveStation in the U.K., as well as French media companies TF1 and Allocine and OMS in Germany. But it sees a huge opportunity to expand even further.
Singolda tells me that the U.S. accounts for about 80 percent of all recommendations and video views today. But deals with major international sites could push the percentage of videos recommended outside the U.S. up to 40 percent or higher by the end of the year. Considering how quickly Taboola is growing, that could mean significant traffic growth. In September, Taboola is on pace to recommend some 800 million videos per day, compared to 500 million just a few months ago.
Taboola has raised a total of $25 million since being founded in 2007. That includes a $10 million Series C round led by New York City-based Marker LLC, as well as existing investors Evergreen Venture Partners and WGI Group. The company currently has 65 employees, but expects to be at 80 by the end of the year, as it aggressively expands overseas.