In another sign of the times for ad tech, the content recommendation firms Taboola and Outbrain are close to merging, according to a report in TechCrunch.
The merged companies would be worth more than $1 billion, said TechCrunch.
This development isn’t all that surprising, since Taboola and Outbrain reportedly began talking in late 2015. Outbrain has been conspicuously quiet for months, and Taboola has been busy announcing partner/publisher deals that focus on scale.
Taboola CEO Adam Singolda declined to comment on the TechCrunch report, which cited an article in the Israeli press.
Both companies are Israeli and are supported by oodles of venture capital. Taboola raised nearly $120 million about two years ago for a total of $160 million, while Outbrain most recently raised an additional $35 million three years ago, for a total of $194 million in investor funds.
Last summer, Taboola acquired ConvertMedia and created a content recommendation tool designed to identify and recommend videos. This January, Taboola also acquired a company called Commerce Sciences, which creates personalized recommendations for Web sites.
Outbrain has also been on an acquisition spree. In March 2016 it acquired Revee, a company that alerts publishers how much individual articles are generating in revenue, in real time.