Content recommendation startup Taboola has spent the last seven years perfecting a technology that is designed to help publishers drive more traffic to their sites and make some money from external advertisers at the same time. Now it’s beefing up monetization on publisher sites through the acquisition of Perfect Market and the launch of a new product called Taboola-X.
Taboola is the company that many publishers use to highlight stories on their own sites, or other content from around the web. Typically that happens on a gallery of thumbnails that appear at the bottom of a news story or other piece of content that its partners might publish.
On the one hand, its links are designed to keep readers clicking around customers’ sites. On the other hand, it’s a way for them to collect ad revenue from other publishers that wish to promote their stories in other places around the web. It now serves about 150 billion recommendations to 400 million unique users each month.
Taboola says this is all in the name of helping web viewers discover new content, although it also has built a pretty solid business around it. Nowadays, the company is on pace for a $250 million run rate and is profitable, according to CEO Adam Singolda. That’s up from a $100 million run rate at the end of 2013.
But like most companies, Taboola wants to make even more money. The acquisition of Perfect Market is designed to do just that, by enabling the company to go beyond just serving up a few thumbnail links at the bottom of a page.
In fact, with the acquisition, the company will be launching a new product, called Taboola-X, that will help it to monetize an entire publisher’s page. Not only that, but it will be able to go beyond just recommending content, to also serve up recommendations for products and services.
Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but the Perfect Market team is going to be joining Taboola, which also is acquiring the company’s technology. Prior to the acquisition, Perfect Market had raised about $30 million in funding, with investors that include Comcast Interactive Capital, Idealab, Rustic Canyon Partners, Tribune, and Trinity Ventures.
Perfect Market powers text-based advertising on a publisher’s site, which opens up a whole new market for Taboola. The company serves ads for clients that include Tribune (which is also an investor), as well as sites like The Washington Post.
By connecting Perfect Market and Taboola tech, publishers and advertisers will get access to a full suite of programmatic text and native advertising. That means publishers will be able to serve up IAB-compliant ads anywhere on the page, and can point readers to other content or products and services that advertisers are paying to promote.
For Taboola that just means more products to offer its customers, and more ways for it to make money.