Taboola is going public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company in a deal that values the adtech at US$2.6 Billion.

The company today announced it has entered into a definitive merger agreement with ION Acquisition Corp. to go public on the New York Stock Exchange. The combined company will operate under the Taboolla name and trade on the NYSE under the new symbol “TBLA”.

Taboola backed out of a planned merger with rival native advertising platform Outbrain last year when it struggled to raise the necessary cash as coronavirus wreaked havoc on the ad industry.

Today Taboola said it had secured approximately US$285 million in primary and secondary private investment in public equity (PIPE) financing from institutional investors, that have committed to fund more than 20 per cent of the PIPE.

Adam Singolda, Taboola founder and CEO. Image: Supplied.

Taboola has told those investors it projects to achieve approximately $1.2 billion of revenues for 2020.

Taboola’s new partner ION Acquisition Corp. 1 Ltd. (NYSE: IACA), is a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company wiith $259 million in trust.

According to a company statement, the merger implies a pro forma valuation of approximately US$2.6 billion for Taboola and the company expects to have $600 million of cash and cash equivalents on its balance sheet at closing.

The transaction is expected to close in Q2 of 2021.

“Taboola is embarking on an exciting new journey as a public company, a milestone only made possible by years of trusted partnerships with tens of thousands of digital properties and advertisers who I want to personally thank for believing in Taboola and me for years,” said Adam Singolda, founder and CEO at Taboola.

“Today, we’re proud of the Taboola team that has made us a ubiquitous presence on the open web and for helping to bring our category-defining technology to market. Aside from our technology and team, Taboola’s success is built on a simple idea – deliver value to our partners in a way where we only grow if our partners grow, in a true win-win manner. This is in stark contrast to ‘walled gardens’ of closed ecosystems that don’t always have their partners’ best interests in mind.”

Gilad Shany, CEO of ION said, “We believe Taboola is an open web recommendation leader that is well positioned to challenge the walled gardens. We were looking to merge with a global technology leader with Israeli DNA and we found that in Taboola. The combination of long-term partnerships built by the company with thousands of open web digital properties, their direct access to advertisers, massive global reach and proven AI technology, allows Taboola to provide significant value to their partners while also achieving attractive unit economics as the company grows

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