taboola

With More Than 1.5B Recommendations Daily, Taboola Raises $15M More To Fund International Expansion

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Content recommendation and distribution startup Taboola has grown quickly over the past year or so. It’s looking to accelerate that growth, adding another $15 million in funding led by Pitango VC, along with participation from existing investors Evergreen Venture Partners, WGI Group, and Marker. That funding will be used to double headcount and open offices in new, strategic markets.

Taboola provides a marketplace for the distribution of video and article content between publishers. The company, which was founded in 2007, got its start suggesting videos, but recently began offering relevant article recommendations. That new vertical has not only increased the number of recommendations it makes each day, but also has helped grow revenues pretty dramatically over the past year.

The company has grown from serving up 500 million recommendations each day last June to more than 1.5 billion daily by the end of last year. That’s due to the adoption of its EngageRank technology not just for video recommendations, but also for full-text article recommendations as well. Publishers such as Bloomberg, The Weather Channel, BusinessWeek, and others have started using the full-text suite since it’s been made available. As a result, the startup reported that revenue in 2012 grew 7.5x year-over-year, thanks in part to more publishers adopting its platform for content recommendations and distribution.

The new funding follows a $10 million round from last June, and brings its total amount raised to $40 million. It comes as Taboola is planning agressive international expansion. Already, the startup has offices in New York City, Israel, and London, and recently hired former Groupon executive Nadav Rosenberg to head up expansion in Europe.

With the new funding, Taboola CEO Adam Singolda says the company will double headcount, from about 70 to 150 by year’s end. The company also plans to open new offices in strategic markets such as France and Australia. Taboola is also moving into an expanded New York City headquarters in the coming weeks.

While Taboola today is focused on working with premium publishers to enable them to better monetize and distribute their articles, Singolda says he sees an opportunity to enable other publishers to use the platform. That could mean extending its technology to anyone in a self-serve platform that could be used by anyone, not just major brands and publishers. Some self-serve tools are already available for its existing clients, but we could see these used by others over the next few years. In the meantime, Taboola will continue focusing growth on publishers in new and interesting markets.