Ad-Tech Firm Taboola Merges With SPAC at $2.6 Billion Valuation

A woman working from home with a laptop computer and mobile phone in the U.K. Photographer: Bloomberg Creative Photos/Bloomberg Creative Collection
A woman working from home with a laptop computer and mobile phone in the U.K. Photographer: Bloomberg Creative Photos/Bloomberg Creative Collection

(Bloomberg) -- Taboola Inc., which helps companies advertise on some of the world’s most-trafficked websites and apps, will become publicly traded after a merger with blank-check firm ION Acquisition Corp. 1 Ltd.

The deal values the New York-based technology firm at $2.6 billion, according to a company statement on Monday. Taboola raised a total of $545 million from ION’s special purpose acquisition company and institutional investors, and plans to spend $100 million this year on expanding into fields such as artificial intelligence and e-commerce.

Taboola joins a booming SPAC market fueled by soaring valuations for target companies. A record 237 SPACs debuted on U.S. exchanges in 2020, raising nearly $79 billion. At least 54 have already begun trading this year.

Founded in 2007 by Chief Executive Officer Adam Singolda, Taboola expects to record $34 million of operating income on $1.2 billion of revenue for 2020.

Credit Suisse Group AG was the lead financial and capital markets adviser to Taboola, while Cowen Inc. was the sole financial and capital markets adviser to ION.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter.