Taboola has announced it will purchase the Start Division of Israel-based telecoms outfit Celltick for an undisclosed sum in what will be the fourth purchase in the content recommendation service’s history.
The deal will integrate Celltick’s Start and Start Magazine product lines into the Taboola News division in a move that aims to improve its ability to serve personalized content to mobile users following previous deals it struck with handset manufacturers ZTE and Vivo.
Celltick’s Start Division helps telecoms players serve targeted content, including ads, to their customers’ handsets and currently, according to Taboola, has a monthly audience reach of more than 25 million.
Adam Singolda, Taboola’s founder and chief executive officer, said the combination of the soon-to-be-acquired Celltick assets along with his company’s existing technology suite and publisher relationships would equip the company to evolve its offering.
“Celltick’s Start technology has been used by leading mobile carriers, and now together we can provide an even more valuable platform for operators globally that can deliver a more engaged and personalized experience for their users and drive incremental [average revenue per user],” he added.
“We have reached a point that requires substantial investment to take the product to the next level, and I trust that thanks to the deal with Taboola, the products will continue to grow and prosper for the benefit of our customers and the team,” said Ronen Daniel, co-founder and chief executive officer of Celltick.
News of the deal, which is expected to close by the end of March 2019, follows an announcement by content recommendation company Outbrain that it will purchase native advertising outfit Ligatus.
Taboola’s acquisition history includes Commerce Sciences in 2017 to help augment its personalization and recommendation tools for online publishers, ConverMedia in 2016, for a reported $100 million, to expand its video recommendations business and Perfect Marketing in 2014 to enhance monetization on publisher sites.
Taboola has a global audience reach of more than 1.4 billion users and counts behemoths such as Axel Springer, Microsoft, NBC News and Verizon Media-owned Huffington Post among its publishing partners.