Baidu Invests 'Millions' In Content Ad Platform Taboola

Taboola, a content advertising platform, on Monday announced that Chinese search giant Baidu has made a strategic investment in the company.

The investment was in the “multi-million dollar” range. A Taboola representative declined to give further specifics -- such as what percentage of Taboola was acquired by Baidu -- when asked by Search Marketing Daily. Queries regarding whether or not Taboola was majority acquired by the search engine went unanswered, but the rep did acknowledge that Taboola will remain a private company.

“Though our roots are in China, Baidu actively seeks out innovative technology companies abroad to partner and invest with,” stated Peter Fang, senior director of corporate development at Baidu.

Taboola is headquartered in New York City, but it has offices and clients worldwide. The company claims to serve over 200 billion monthly content recommendations on sites in the U.S., UK, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Israel.

“We believe that [content] discovery has massive growth potential in both existing and untapped markets around the world, and we plan to grow this new category even further with Baidu to help change the way people in China discover content they may like and never knew existed,” stated Adam Singolda, founder and CEO of Taboola.

Taboola recently raised a hefty Series E round of funding -- $117 million, to be exact -- to bring its total financing to $157 million.

The company uses real-time “signals” -- i.e., geography data, social media trends and more -- to recommend content to consumers browsing the Web. Following its Series E round, Taboola said it planned to double down on automation, a plan fueled by its 2014 acquisition of Perfect Market, a supply-side platform, and the launch of its own programmatic native ad platform.

Taboola estimated in August 2014 that its annual run rate was $250 million.

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