Rival native advertising platforms Taboola and Outbrain are joining forces, with Taboola CEO Adam Singolda set to lead the combined company. 

Under the terms of the deal, which the companies are calling a merger, Outbrain shareholders will receive shares representing 30 per cent of the combined company plus $250 million of cash. 

Upon closing the combined company will operate under the Taboola brand name. 

Outbrain CEO Yaron Galai will actively assist with the transition for the 12 months following the closing.

The Board of Directors of the combined company will consist of current Taboola and Outbrain management and board members. Eldad Maniv, President & COO of Taboola and David Kostman, co-CEO of Outbrain will work closely together on managing all aspects of the post-merger integration, the companies said.  

The combined company will have over 2,000 employees across 23 offices, serving over 20,000 clients in more than 50 countries across the North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions.

“Over the past decade, I’ve admired Outbrain and the innovation that Yaron Galai, Ori Lahav and the rest of the Outbrain team have brought to the marketplace. By joining forces, we’ll be able to create a more robust competitor to Facebook and Google, giving advertisers a more meaningful choice,” said Adam Singolda, Founder & CEO of Taboola.

 According to eMarketer, almost 70 per cent of total US digital advertising revenue in 2019 is controlled by only three companies—Google, Facebook and Amazon. “We’re passionate about driving growth for our customers and supporting the open web, which we consider critical in a world where walled gardens are strong, and perhaps too strong. Working together, we will continue investing to better connect advertising dollars with local and national news organisations, strengthening journalism over the next decade. This is why we’re merging; this is our mission.”

“We are excited to partner with Taboola. Both Outbrain and Taboola have a shared mission and vision of supporting quality journalism globally and delivering meaningful value to the open web marketplace,” said Yaron Galai, co-founder and co-CEO of Outbrain. 

“Ori and I had a vision of helping people discover quality content online, and we see a tremendous opportunity in joining forces in order to bring the next wave of innovation to our publisher partners and advertisers. I’m confident that together, we will be able to further our mission, which we call our Lighthouse, of bringing the best, most trustworthy content discovery capabilities to users around the world.”

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