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Taboola raises $15 million Series D

Video recommendation service has raised $40 million in total funding

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
February 19, 2013 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/2da1

(Updated to reflect comment from Taboola)

Video, article and image recommendation service Taboola has raised a $15 Million Series D round of funding, it was announced Tuesday.

The round was led by Pitango VC, with participation from existing investors Evergreen Venture Partners, WGI Group and Marker. Taboola previously raised  a $10 million Series C round led by Marker LLC, a New York City-based fund founded by Rick Scanlon and Thomas Pompidou. The round also included existing investors Evergreen Venture Partners and WGI Group. This latest funding brings the company's  total to $40 million.

The funds will be used to continue the company's growth, which involves investing in account management, operations and the service capabilities, Adam Singolda, founder and CEO of Taboola, said in an interview with VatorNews.

The company, which expanded into Europe in 2012, will also be emerging in new markets, including Australia and France.

Most importantly, though, Taboola will be investing in its technology, Singolda said. What will make the company a success is the value it creates for the users, publishers and agencies who use it.

Founded in 2007, New York City-based Taboola provides a platform that publishers can use to recommend videos, articles and images to users on their sites. It has served the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Bloomberg BusinessWeek and Hearst, along with many others in publishing. 

The company uses its EngageRank technology to quantify how users interact with content in real-time, so that it can accurately predict, and recommend, content that it believes will be interesting to those users. Taboola uses multiple signals including contextual, behavioral, person and social, to find which videos to send to the right person at the right time. The recommended content can either be from the site the user is currently on, or from other sites from Taboola’s network of content.

The company is developing new ways of collecting signals, he said, though he could not share what those ways are at this time.

When a user is viewing video content on one of these publishers' sites, Taboola analyzes and lists three to five videos next to the screen so that users can continue viewing relevant content once their video ends.

By showing related videos from other sources, Taboola allows publishers to provide a greater inventory of video and increase the viewing time that users are on their site.

For example, Singolda said, if a person cannot watch a video that is over two minutes during the day then Taboola will not send them content that is longer than that. If they sent a video that the person would not watch, it would be a waste of money and resources. It makes the publishers the company works with feel safe that they are not giving up real estate on their websites for nothing.

The company started out sending only videos, but recently launched a new product to send both articles and images as well. 

That Taboola started out with video puts the company at an advantage, Singolda said, since figuring out which videos is harder than sending articles, and requires more innovation. He does not expect the new product to significantly improve growth, but it will make Taboola able to deliver content on all fronts.

Taboola's sees over 200 million unique visitors every month, and 1.5 billion recommendations daily. It has around 1,000 clients, mostly high-end publishers, including Bloomberg, BusinessWeek, Time.com, USAToday, NYTimes, BBC, TMZ, The-Hollywood-Reporter, Politico.com, CafeMom, Billboard.com, and Fox Television. The company is focused on building the world's leading engine to discover content people may like, and allowing content owners to gain a significant ROI on their content business.

(Image source: http://gigaom.com)

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