Earlier this week, both Taboola and Outbrain failed to merge. The merger would take on power ad platforms like Facebook (FB) and Google (GOOGL). Now after the failed merger the companies are looking to move on and go public.
ION Acquisition (IACA) stock soars on possible combination with Taboola
IACA stock’s October initial public offering raised $225 million for the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) focusing on the Middle East region. Its stated goal was a merger with a private company valued at more than $1 billion. That IPO was upsized by more than 10% to 22.5 million units ahead of the floatation. Both ION and Taboola are based in Israel.
With its debut in October, ION Acquisition joined a growing roster of financiers raising hundreds of millions of dollars in search for a place to put it. In most cases, SPACs have two years to make their move, though most have little trouble finding an investment.
At the time, ION Chief Executive Gilad Shany told Reuters he wanted to target Israeli tech companies at over $1 billion valuation and bridge the gap between local entrepreneurs and the U.S. capital market. Shany is no stranger to the IPO world. Two of his previous investments, Fiverr International (FVRR) and telemedicine firm American Well (AMWL) went public in New York.
Outbrain prepares for IPO
The Israeli online content-recommendation firm Outbrain has taken initial steps towards an initial public offering. The Israeli startup that enables web publishers to recommend content from other websites is eyeing a $2 billion evaluation and has hired investment banks Citi and Jefferies to see the process through.
Outbrain is estimated to have hit roughly one billion dollars in revenues this year.
Industry sources say Outbrain received a number of offers to merge with different SPACs, but no real talks were ever held. However, many believe that companies like Outbrain that opt for the regular IPO route may actually end up going public via a merger with a SPAC. The reason is the vast sums of capital being put into SPACs and the attractive offers that can be made to private companies as a result.
Twice in recent years it was reported that Outbrain was planning on going public. The company has even filed initial paperwork but has never seen the process though and taken the final steps. It is believed that this time may be different as Outbrain’s sector has enjoyed massive growth this year. The high market prices will allow them to offer their shares according to their price-earnings ratio, as long as the window from an IPO does not close during the coming months.