PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT
Filed pursuant to Rule
(To Prospectus dated October 6, 2021)
424(b)(3) of the Rules and
 
Regulations Under the
 
Securities Act of 1933
 
 
 
Registration Statement No. 333-257879
 
TABOOLA.COM LTD.
 
Ordinary Shares
Warrants to Purchase Ordinary Shares
 
Recent Developments
 
We have attached to this prospectus supplement, and incorporated by reference into it, the Form 20-F of Taboola.com Ltd.
 
This prospectus supplement, together with the prospectus, is to be used by the selling shareholders listed in the prospectus in connection with offers and sales from time to time of the ordinary shares and warrants to purchase ordinary shares of Taboola.com Ltd.
 
March 24, 2022



UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
 


FORM 20-F
 
☐  REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OR SECTION 12(g) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
OR
 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934  
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021
 
OR
 

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from  __________ to __________
 
OR
 

SHELL COMPANY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
Date of event requiring this shell company report
 
Commission file number 001-40566
 

TABOOLA.COM LTD
(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)
 
Not Applicable
(Translation of Registrant’s name into English)
 
State of Israel
(Jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)

Taboola.com Ltd.
16 Madison Square West
7th Floor
New York, NY
10010
(Address of principal executive offices)
Adam Singolda
Chief Executive Officer
Email: investors@taboola.com
(212) 206-7633
Taboola.com Ltd.
16 Madison Square West
7th Floor
New York, NY
10010
 (Name, Telephone, E-mail and/or Facsimile number and Address of Company Contact Person)
 


Securities registered or to be registered, pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act
Title of each class
Trading Symbol(s)
Name of each exchange on which registered
Ordinary shares, no par value
TBLA
The Nasdaq Global Market
Warrants to purchase ordinary shares
TBLAW
The Nasdaq Global Market
 
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
 
Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act: None
 
Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer’s classes of capital stock or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report. 234,031,749 ordinary shares
 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.
 
Yes ☐ No ☒
 
If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
 
Yes ☐ No ☒
 
Note—Checking the box above will not relieve any registrant required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 from their obligations under those Sections.
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.
 
Yes ☒ No ☐
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).
 
Yes ☒ No ☐
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

Large accelerated filer
☐ Accelerated filer
Non-accelerated filer
☐ Emerging growth company


If an emerging growth company that prepares its financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.☐
 
Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:
U.S. GAAP
International Financial Reporting Standards as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board
Other

If “Other” has been checked in response to the previous question indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow.
 
Item 17 ☐ Item 18 ☐
 
If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).
 
Yes ☐ No ☒



CONTENTS
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ABOUT THIS ANNUAL REPORT

Unless otherwise stated or unless the context otherwise requires, the terms “Company,” “the registrant,” “our company,” “the company,” “we,” “us,” “our,” “ours,” and “Taboola” refer to Taboola.com Ltd., a company organized under the laws of the State of Israel. In this Annual Report:

“Connexity” means, Shop Holding Corporation, a Delaware corporation.

“Effective Time” means the effective time of the closing of the Business Combination.

“Investors’ Rights Agreement” means the Amended and Restated Investors’ Rights Agreement, effective as of the Effective Time, pursuant to which each of the Sponsors, and certain of Taboola’s shareholders were granted certain resale registration rights with respect to any Ordinary Shares or Warrants.

“ION” means ION Acquisition Corp. 1 Ltd., a Cayman Islands exempted company.

“Merger Agreement” means the agreement and plan of merger, dated as of January 25, 2021, by and among ION, Taboola and Merger Sub.

“Merger Sub” means Toronto Sub Ltd., a Cayman Islands exempted company and wholly owned subsidiary of the Company.

“Ordinary Shares” means each ordinary share of Taboola, no par value per share.

“Sponsors” means ION Holdings 1, LP and ION Co-Investment LLC.

“Taboola” means Taboola.com Ltd., a company organized under the laws of the State of Israel.

“Warrants” means warrants of Taboola issued to ION warrant holders and the Ordinary Shares underlying such warrants.

All references in this Annual Report to “Israeli currency” and “NIS” refer to New Israeli Shekels, the terms “dollar,” “USD” or “$” refer to U.S. dollars and the terms “€” or “euro” refer to the currency introduced at the start of the third stage of European economic and monetary union pursuant to the treaty establishing the European Community, as amended.
 
BASIS OF PRESENTATION

Our financial statements have been prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States (“GAAP”). We present our consolidated financial statements in U.S. dollars.

Our fiscal year ends on December 31 of each year.

Certain monetary amounts, percentages and other figures included elsewhere in this Annual Report have been subject to rounding adjustments. Accordingly, figures shown as totals in certain tables or charts may not be the arithmetic aggregation of the figures that precede them, and figures expressed as percentages in the text may not total 100% or, as applicable, when aggregated may not be the arithmetic aggregation of the percentages that precede them.

Throughout this Annual Report, we provide a number of key performance indicators used by our management and often used by others in our industry. For details, see Item 5 “Operating and Financial Review and Prospects.”

Market and Industry Data

Unless otherwise indicated, information in this Annual Report concerning economic conditions, our industry, our markets and our competitive position is based on a variety of sources, including information from independent industry analysts and publications, as well as our own estimates and research.

Our estimates are derived from publicly available information released by third-party sources, as well as data from our internal research, which we believe to be reasonable. None of the independent industry publications used in this Annual Report were prepared on our behalf.

Trademarks

We or our licensors have proprietary rights to trademarks, trade names and service marks used in this Annual Report. Solely for convenience, trademarks, trade names and service marks referred to in this Annual Report may appear without the “®” or “” symbols, but such references are not intended to indicate, in any way, that we will not assert, to the fullest extent possible under applicable law, our rights or the rights of the applicable licensor to these trademarks, trade names and service marks. We do not intend our use or display of other companies’ trademarks, trade names or service marks to imply a relationship with, or endorsement or sponsorship of us by, any other companies. Each trademark, trade name or service mark of any other company appearing in this Annual Report is the property of its respective holder.
 
CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

Certain statements in this Annual Report may constitute “forward-looking statements” for purposes of the federal securities laws. Taboola’s forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding Taboola or its management team’s expectations, hopes, beliefs, intentions or strategies regarding the future. In addition, any statements that refer to projections, forecasts or other characterizations of future events or circumstances, including any underlying assumptions, are forward-looking statements. The words “anticipate,” “appear,” “approximate,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “foresee,” “intends,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “possible,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “seek,” “should,” “would” and similar expressions (or the negative version of such words or expressions) may identify forward-looking statements, but the absence of these words does not mean that a statement is not forward-looking. Forward-looking statements in this Annual Report may include, for example, statements about:
 

our financial performance following the Business Combination and the connexity acquisition;
 

the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business and the actions we may take in response thereto; and
 

the outcome of any known and unknown litigation and regulatory proceedings.

These forward-looking statements are based on information available as of the date of this Annual Report, and current expectations, forecasts and assumptions, and involve a number of judgments, risks and uncertainties. Accordingly, forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing our views as of any subsequent date, and we do not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date they were made, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required under applicable securities laws.

You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. As a result of a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties, our actual results or performance may be materially different from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Some factors that could cause actual results to differ include:
 
 
Taboola may be unable to attract new digital properties and advertisers, sell additional offerings to its existing digital properties and advertisers, or maintain enough business with its existing digital properties and advertisers;

 
If Taboola’s performance under contracts with digital properties where Taboola is obligated to pay a specified minimum guaranteed amount per thousand impressions does not meet the minimum guarantee requirements, its gross profit could be negatively impacted and its results of operations and financial condition could be harmed;
 

Taboola may not be able to compete successfully against current and future competitors;
 

Taboola’s future growth and success depends on its ability to continue to scale its existing offerings and to introduce new solutions that gain acceptance and that differentiate it from its competitors;


If Taboola fails to make the right investment decisions in its offerings and technology platform, or if Taboola is unable to generate or otherwise obtain sufficient funds to invest in them, Taboola may not attract and retain digital properties and advertisers;


If Taboola’s ability to personalize its advertisements and content to users is restricted or prohibited due to various privacy or data protection laws or regulations, Taboola could lose digital properties and advertisers;


If Taboola’s AI powered platform fails to accurately predict what ads and content would be of most interest to users or if Taboola fails to continue to improve on its ability to further predict or optimize user engagement or conversion rates for its advertisers, its performance could decline and Taboola could lose digital properties and advertisers;


Taboola’s business depends on continued engagement by users who interact with its platform on various digital properties;


The effects of health epidemics, such as the global COVID-19 pandemic, have had and could in the future have an adverse impact on Taboola’s revenue, its employees and results of operations;


Historically, the majority of Taboola’s agreements with digital properties have typically required them to provide it exclusivity or other incentives based on preferred usage, for the term of the agreement; to the extent that such exclusivity is reduced or eliminated for any reason, digital properties could elect to implement competitive platforms or services that could be detrimental to its performance;


Taboola’s business depends on strong brands and well-known digital properties, and failing to maintain and enhance its brands and well-known digital properties would hurt its ability to expand its number of advertisers and digital properties;
 

Taboola is a multinational organization faced with complex and changing laws and regulations regarding privacy, data protection, content, competition, consumer protection, and other matters;


Conditions in Israel could adversely affect Taboola’s business; and


Other risks and uncertainties set forth in the section entitled “Risk Factors” in this Annual Report.

PART I
 
Item 1.
Identity of Directors, Senior Management and Advisers
 
Not applicable.
 
Item 2.
Offer Statistics and Expected Timetable
 
Not applicable.
 
Item 3.
Key Information
 

A.
[Reserved.]
 

B.
Capitalization and Indebtedness
 
Not applicable.
 

C.
Reasons for the Offer and Use of Proceeds
 
Not applicable.
 

D.
Risk Factors
 
Risks Related to Our Business and Industry

If we are unable to attract new digital properties and advertisers, sell additional offerings to our existing digital properties and advertisers, or maintain enough business with our existing digital properties and advertisers, our revenue growth prospects will be adversely affected.

We must add new digital properties and advertisers, and encourage existing digital properties and advertisers to add additional offerings from us, in order to sustain or increase our revenue. As the digital advertising industry matures and as competitors introduce more competitive pricing or differentiated products or services that compete with or are perceived to compete with ours, our ability to sell our solutions to new and existing digital properties and advertisers could be impaired. In addition, we may reach a point of saturation at which we cannot continue to grow our revenue from existing digital properties and advertisers because of internal limits they may place on the allocation of space on their sites, allocation of their advertising budgets to digital media, to particular campaigns, to a particular provider, or other reasons. We may also lose revenues if our existing digital properties and advertisers reduce the amount of business they do with us for any reason, including nonrenewal of their agreements with us or renewal on less favorable terms. If we are unable to attract new digital properties and advertisers or obtain new business from existing digital properties and advertisers or maintain enough business with our existing digital properties and advertisers, our revenue, our revenue growth prospects and business will be adversely affected.

If our performance under contracts with digital properties, where we are obligated to pay a specified minimum guaranteed amount per thousand impressions, do not meet the minimum guarantee requirements, our gross profit could be negatively impacted and our results of operations and financial condition could be harmed.

A significant amount of our revenue comes from contracts with digital properties where we are obligated to pay a specified minimum guaranteed amount per thousand impressions to the digital property. In each of the years ended December 31, 2019 through 2021, our guarantee costs, which we calculate as total payments due under guarantee arrangements in excess of amounts we otherwise would have been required to pay under revenue sharing arrangements, as a percentage of our total payments to digital properties, or TAC, was approximately 15% or less. Although we focus on achieving sufficient revenue per impression through the improvement of our algorithms and using our scale to exceed the minimum guarantees made to digital properties, we may not succeed in doing so. In addition, due to unfavorable macroeconomic, competitive or other conditions, we may be unable to perform as expected under arrangements that provide for such minimum guarantees, in which case our gross profit could be negatively impacted and our results of operation and financial condition could be adversely affected.

We may not be able to compete successfully against current and future competitors because competition in our industry is intense and many competitors, such as Google and Facebook, have substantially more resources than we do. Our competitors may also offer solutions that are perceived by our digital properties and advertisers to be more attractive than our platform. These factors could result in declining revenue or inhibit our ability to grow our business.

Competition for our clients’ advertising budgets is intense. We compete for a share of total advertising budgets with online search and display advertising, including large “walled garden” advertising platforms such as Google and Facebook, and with traditional advertising media, such as direct mail, television, radio, cable and print. Many current and potential competitors have competitive advantages relative to us, such as longer operating histories, greater name recognition, larger client bases, greater access to advertising inventory on premium websites and significantly greater financial, technical, sales and marketing resources. Thus, increased competition may result in the loss of business or the inability to win new business, which could negatively affect our revenue and future operating results and our ability to grow our business.

We also expect competition on the digital property side to continue increasing as the industry grows. Increased competition may require us to increase the revenue share with our digital properties, charge less for our solutions, or offer other pricing models that are less attractive to us, any of which could decrease our revenues and margins and harm our results of operations.

Our future growth and success depends on our ability to continue to scale our existing offerings and to introduce new solutions that gain acceptance from digital properties and advertisers and that differentiate us from our competitors.

Our future success depends on our ability to effectively scale our offerings as our business grows to keep pace with demand for our solutions, and achieve long-term profitability. If we fail to implement these changes on a timely basis, or if we are unable to implement them effectively or at all due to factors beyond our control or other reasons, our business may suffer. We may not be successful in addressing these and other challenges we may face in the future. As a growing company in a rapidly evolving industry, our business prospects depend in large part on our ability to:


develop and offer a competitive technology platform and offerings that meet our digital properties’ and advertisers’ needs as they change;


continuously innovate and improve on the algorithms underlying our technology in order to deliver positive results for our advertisers and digital properties;


build a reputation for superior solutions and create trust and long-term relationships with digital properties and advertisers;


distinguish ourselves from strong competitors in our industry;


maintain and expand our relationships with advertisers who can provide quality content and advertisements;
 

respond to evolving industry and government oversight, standards and regulations that impact our business, particularly in the areas of native advertising, data collection, consumer privacy and data protection;


prevent or otherwise mitigate failures or breaches of security or privacy; and


attract, hire, integrate and retain qualified and motivated employees.

If we are unable to meet one or more of these objectives or otherwise adequately address the risks and difficulties that we face, our business may suffer, our revenue may decline and we may not be able to achieve further growth or long-term profitability.

If we do not manage our growth effectively, the quality of our platform or our relationships with our digital properties and advertisers may suffer, and our operating results may be negatively affected.

Our business has grown rapidly. We rely heavily on information technology, or IT, systems to manage critical functions such as content recommendation, campaign management and operations, payment from advertisers and to digital properties, data storage and retrieval, revenue recognition, budgeting, forecasting, financial reporting and other administrative functions. To manage our growth effectively, we must continue to improve and expand our infrastructure, including our IT, financial and administrative systems and controls. We must also continue to manage our employees, operations, finances, research and development and capital investments efficiently. Our productivity and the quality of our platform may be adversely affected if we do not integrate and train our new employees, particularly our research and development, sales and account management personnel, quickly and effectively and if we fail to appropriately coordinate across our executive, finance, human resources, legal, marketing, sales, operations and advertiser support teams. If we continue our rapid growth, we will incur additional expenses, and our growth may place a strain on our resources, infrastructure and ability to maintain the quality of our platform. If we do not adapt to meet these evolving growth challenges, and if the current and future members of our management team do not effectively scale with our growth, the quality of our platform may suffer and our corporate culture may be harmed. Failure to manage our future growth effectively could cause our business to suffer, which, in turn, could have an adverse impact on our financial condition and results of operations.

If we fail to make the right investment decisions in our offerings and technology platform, or if we are unable to generate or otherwise obtain sufficient funds to invest in them, we may not attract and retain digital properties and advertisers and our revenue and results of operations may decline.

Our industry is subject to rapid changes in standards, regulations, technologies, products and service offerings, as well as in digital property and advertiser demands and expectations. We continuously need to make decisions regarding which offerings and technology to invest in to meet such demands and evolving industry standards and regulatory requirements. We may make wrong decisions regarding these investments. If new or existing competitors offer more attractive offerings, we may lose digital property and/or advertisers, or advertisers may decrease their spending on our platform. New digital property or advertiser demands, superior competitive offerings, new industry standards or regulations could render our existing solutions unattractive, unmarketable or obsolete and require us to make substantial unanticipated changes to our technology platform or business model. Our failure to adapt to a rapidly changing market or to anticipate digital property and/or advertiser demands could harm our business and our financial performance.

We have had, and may in the future continue to have, significant fluctuations in our operating results, which make our future results difficult to predict and could cause our operating results to fall below investors’ expectations.

Our quarterly and annual operating results have fluctuated significantly in the past. Similarly, we expect our future operating results to fluctuate for the foreseeable future due to a variety of factors, many of which are beyond our control. Our fluctuating results could cause our performance to fall below the expectations of investors, and adversely affect the price of our Ordinary Shares. Because our business is changing and evolving rapidly, our historical operating results may not be useful in predicting our future operating results and it is difficult for us to accurately predict future results. In addition, our rapid growth has limited our ability to reliably track key business metrics and so we have limited understanding of certain aspects of our operations. For example, we do not have good visibility into the seasonality of our business due to the fact that our rapid growth may have masked seasonality. Factors that may increase the volatility of our operating results include the following:
 

the addition or loss of new digital properties;


changes in demand and pricing for our platform;


the seasonal nature of advertisers’ spending on digital advertising campaigns;


changes in our pricing policies or the pricing policies of our competitors;


the introduction of new technologies, product or service offerings by our competitors;


changes in advertisers’ budget allocations or marketing strategies;


changes and uncertainty in the regulatory environment for us or advertisers;
 

changes in the economic prospects of our digital properties and advertisers or the economy generally, which could alter current or prospective advertisers’ spending priorities, or could increase the time or costs required to complete sales with digital properties or advertisers;


changes in the availability of advertising inventory or in the cost to reach end consumers through digital advertising;
 

changes in our capital expenditures as we acquire the hardware, equipment and other assets required to support our business and potential supply issues in acquiring such hardware and assets;


costs related to acquisitions of people, businesses or technologies; and


traffic patterns.

Based upon all of the factors described above and others that we may not anticipate, including those beyond our control, we have a limited ability to forecast our future revenue, costs and expenses. As a result, our operating results may from time to time fall below our estimates or the expectations of investors.

If the use of “third party cookies” is rejected by Internet users, subject to unfavorable legislation or regulation, restricted, blocked or limited by technical changes on end users’ devices or Internet browsers, or our ability to use cookie data is otherwise restricted and we are unable to track users in some other way, our performance could decline and we could lose digital properties and advertisers and, as a result, revenue.

We use “cookies” (small text files) to gather important data to help deliver our solutions. These cookies are placed through an Internet browser on an Internet user’s computer and correspond to a data set that we keep on our servers. Some of our cookies are “third party” cookies where we do not have a direct relationship with the Internet user. Our cookies collect information, such as when an Internet user views an Internet site, clicks on an ad, or visits one of our digital properties. We use these cookies to help us achieve our digital property or advertisers’ campaign goals, to help us ensure that the same Internet user does not unintentionally see the same recommendations too frequently, to report aggregate information to our advertisers regarding the performance of their campaigns, and to detect and prevent fraudulent activity. We also use data from cookies to help us decide on an opportunity to place a recommendation in a certain location, at a given time, in front of a particular Internet user. A lack of data associated with cookies may detract from our ability to make decisions about an advertiser’s campaign and undermine the effectiveness of our solutions.

Cookies may easily be deleted or blocked by Internet users. All of the most commonly used Internet browsers (including Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Edge and Safari) allow Internet users to prevent cookies from being accepted by their browsers. Internet users can also delete cookies from their computers at any time. Some Internet users also download “ad blocking” software that prevents cookies from being stored on a user’s computer. If more Internet users adopt these settings or delete their cookies more frequently than they currently do, our business could be harmed. Recently, there has been a general trend among Internet users to refuse to accept cookies on their Internet browsers. In addition, the Safari, Firefox, and Edge browsers block cookies by default, and other browsers may do so in the future. Unless such default settings in browsers were altered by Internet users, we would be able to set fewer of our cookies in browsers, which could adversely affect our business. In addition, companies such as Google have publicly disclosed their intention to move away from cookies to another form of persistent unique identifier, or ID, to indicate Internet users in the bidding process on advertising exchanges. If such companies do not use shared IDs across the entire digital advertising ecosystem, this could have a negative impact on our ability to find the same pseudonymous user across different web properties and reduce the effectiveness of our solutions. These web browser developers have significant resources at their disposal and command substantial market share, and any restrictions they impose could foreclose our ability to understand the preferences of a substantial number of consumers.

In addition, in the European Union, or EU, Directive 2009/136/EC, commonly referred to as the “Cookie Directive,” directs EU member states to ensure that accessing information on an Internet user’s computer, such as through a cookie, is allowed only if the Internet user has given his or her consent. As there were different transpositions of the Cookie Directive in domestic laws across the EU Member States, there are currently different interpretations of what constitutes valid consent (e.g., explicit versus implied consent) across the EU, posing a risk of regulatory divergence and creating legal uncertainty for businesses. The EU also has released a proposed replacement to the Cookie Directive, commonly known as the “ePrivacy Regulation,” to, among other things, better align EU member states and the rules governing online tracking technologies and electronic communications, such as unsolicited marketing and cookies, with the requirements of the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). While the ePrivacy Regulation was originally intended to be adopted on May 25, 2018 (alongside the GDPR), it is currently going through the European legislative process, and commentators now expect it to be adopted in the coming years. Like the GDPR, the proposed ePrivacy Regulation has extra-territorial application as it applies to businesses established outside the EU who provide publicly-available electronic communications services to, or gather data from the devices of, users in the EU. The ePrivacy Regulation may impose burdensome requirements around obtaining consent and impose fines for violations that are materially higher than those imposed under the European Union’s current ePrivacy Directive and related EU member state legislation. Additionally, the use of cookies, as well as the use of the data collected using cookies, may be subject to further legislation or regulation. The United Kingdom, the United States and other governments have enacted or are considering legislation that regulate the level of consumer notice and consent required before a company can employ cookies or other electronic tracking tools.

Limitations on the use or effectiveness of cookies, or other limitations on our ability to collect and use data for advertising, whether imposed by EU member state implementations of the Cookie Directive, by the new ePrivacy Regulation, or otherwise, may impact the performance of our platform. We may be required to, or otherwise may determine that it is advisable to, make significant changes in our business operations and product and services to obtain user opt-in for cookies and use of cookie data, or develop or obtain additional tools and technologies to compensate for a lack of cookie data. We may not be able to make the necessary changes in our business operations and products and services to obtain user opt-in for cookies and use of cookie data, or develop, implement or acquire additional tools that compensate for the lack of data associated with cookies. Moreover, even if we are able to do so, such additional products and tools may be subject to further legislation or regulation, time consuming to develop or costly to obtain, or less effective than our current use of cookies.

If Taboola’s ability to personalize its advertisements and content to users is restricted or prohibited due to various privacy laws or regulations or industry changes, we could lose digital properties and advertisers, which could cause our financial condition, results of operations, and revenues to decline.

The efficacy of our platform for both advertisers and digital properties relies, in part, on our ability to personalize the recommendations that we serve to Internet users. If we are unable to personalize due to changes in various privacy laws or regulations or for some other reason beyond our control, the efficacy of our platform may be negatively affected causing our business to suffer, which, in turn, could have an adverse impact on our financial condition, results of operations, and revenues.

If Taboola’s AI powered platform fails to accurately predict what ads and content would be of most interest to users or if we fail to continue to improve on our ability to further predict or optimize user engagement or conversion rates for our advertisers, our performance could decline and we could lose digital properties and advertisers, which could cause our results of operations and revenues to decline.

The effective delivery of our solution depends on the ability of Taboola’s AI powered platform to predict what ads and content would be of most interest to users so that our advertisers can achieve desirable returns on their advertising spend. We need to continuously deliver satisfactory results for our advertisers and digital properties in terms of predicting user engagement and conversion rates in order to maintain and increase revenue, which in turn depends in part on the optimal functioning of Taboola’s AI powered platform. In addition, as we have increased the number of advertisers and digital properties that use our offerings on a global basis, we have experienced significant growth in the amount and complexity of data processed by Taboola’s AI and the number of ad and content impressions we deliver. As the amount of data and number of variables processed by Taboola’s AI powered platform increase, the risk of errors in the type of data collected, stored, generated or accessed also increases. In addition, the calculations that the algorithms must compute become increasingly complex and the likelihood of any defects or errors increases. If we were to experience significant errors or defects in Taboola’s AI powered platform, our solution could be impaired or stop working altogether, which could prevent us from generating any revenue until the errors or defects were detected and corrected. Other negative consequences from significant errors or defects in Taboola’s AI powered platform could include:


a loss of advertisers and digital properties;


fewer user visits to our digital properties;
 

lower click-through rates;


lower conversion rates;


lower profitability per impression, up to and including negative margins;


lower return on advertising spend for advertisers;
 

lower price for the advertising inventory we are able to offer to digital properties;


delivery of advertisements that are less relevant or irrelevant to users;
 

liability for damages or regulatory inquiries or lawsuits; and
 

harm to our reputation.

Furthermore, the ability of Taboola’s AI powered platform to accurately predict engagement by a user depends in part on our ability to continuously innovate and improve the algorithms underlying Taboola’s AI powered platform in order to deliver positive results for our advertisers and digital properties that can be clearly attributed to the services we provide. The failure to do so could result in delivering poor performance for our advertisers and a reduced ability to secure advertising inventory. If failures in Taboola’s AI powered platform or our inability to innovate and improve the algorithms underlying Taboola’s AI powered platform result in advertisers and digital properties ceasing to partner with us, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to replace, in a timely or effective manner, departing advertisers with new advertisers that generate comparable revenue or departing digital properties with new digital properties. As a result, the failure by Taboola’s AI powered platform to accurately predict user engagement or conversion rates and to continue to do so over time could result in significant costs to us and our results of operation and financial condition could be adversely affected.

Our business depends on continued engagement by users who interact with our platform on various digital properties. If users begin to ignore our platform or direct their attention to other elements on the digital property, our performance could decline and we could lose digital properties and advertisers, which could cause our results of operations and revenues to decline.

Our ability to sustain continued engagement by users who interact with our platform on various digital properties depends on our ability to continue to provide attractive content to users. If users begin to ignore our platform or direct their attention to other elements on the digital property, our performance could decline and digital property and advertiser satisfaction with our platform may decrease. Technological and other developments may also cause changes in consumer behavior that could affect the attractiveness of our content and ads to users.

While we have adopted a number of strategies and initiatives to address these challenges, there can be no guarantee that our efforts will be successful. If we are unable to demonstrate the continuing value of our platform to advertisers and digital properties, our results may suffer. A decrease in advertising expenditures by our advertisers could lead to a reduction in our ability to obtain high-quality content from digital properties, which in turn could have an adverse effect on our results of operations and revenues.

The effects of health epidemics, such as the global COVID-19 pandemic, have had and could in the future have an adverse impact on our revenue, our employees and results of operations.

Our business and operations have been and could in the future be adversely affected by health epidemics, such as the global COVID-19 pandemic. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including the emergence of new variants such as Delta and Omicron, and efforts to control its spread have curtailed the movement of people, goods and services worldwide, including in the regions in which we and our clients and partners operate, and are significantly impacting economic activity and financial markets. Many marketers have decreased or paused their advertising spending as a response to the economic uncertainty, decline in business activity, and other COVID-related impacts, which have negatively impacted, and may continue to negatively impact, our revenue and results of operations, the extent and duration of which we may not be able to accurately predict. For instance, we experienced a notable decline in advertising rates soon after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we attribute a 12% reduction in our second quarter of 2020 revenue to the pandemic. After the reduction in advertising and rates in the first two quarters of 2020, we saw a strong recovery in our network yield in the second half of 2020. The gains in network yields we realized in the second half of 2020 continued into 2021 and we expect network yields to increase during 2022 at rates consistent with pre-COVID historical levels, although there can be no assurance of such increase. See Item 5 Operating and Financial Review and Prospects. In addition, our advertisers’ businesses or cash flows have been and may continue to be negatively impacted by COVID-19, which has and may continue to lead them to seek adjustments to payment terms or delay making payments or default on their payables, any of which may impact the timely receipt and/or collectability of our receivables.

Our operations are subject to a range of external factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic that are not within our control. We have taken precautionary measures intended to minimize the risk of the spread of the virus to our employees, partners and clients, and the communities in which we operate. A wide range of governmental restrictions has also been imposed on our employees’ and clients’ physical movement to limit the spread of COVID-19 and variant strains thereof. There can be no assurance that precautionary measures, whether adopted by us or imposed by others, will be effective, and such measures could negatively affect our sales, marketing, and client service efforts, delay and lengthen our sales cycles, decrease our employees’ and clients’ productivity, or create operational or other challenges, any of which could harm our business and results of operations. Although there are effective vaccines for COVID-19 that have been approved for use, not all of our employees are vaccinated. In addition, new strains of the virus have appeared (primarily, and most recently the Omicron variant), which may complicate treatment and vaccination programs. Accordingly, concerns remain regarding additional surges of COVID-19 as seen for example, towards the end of 2021, and the economic impact thereof, all of which may impact our future results of operations and financial condition.

The economic uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic may continue to make it difficult for us to forecast revenue and operating results and to make decisions regarding operational cost structures and investments. We have committed, and we plan to continue to commit, resources to grow our business, including to expand our international presence, employee base, and technology development, and such investments may not yield anticipated returns, particularly if worldwide business activity continues to be impacted by COVID-19. The duration and extent of the impact from the COVID-19 pandemic depend on future developments that cannot be accurately predicted at this time, and if we are not able to respond to and manage the impact of such events effectively, our business may be harmed.

We have historically relied, and expect to continue to rely, on a small number of partners and their respective affiliates for a significant percentage of our revenue. The loss of all or a significant part of their business or an adverse change in the terms of our agreements could significantly harm our reputation, business, financial condition and results of operations.

In 2021, our largest digital property, Microsoft and affiliates, accounted for approximately 17% of our gross revenues generated from advertisers on digital properties, and our top five digital properties accounted for approximately 26% of our gross revenues. We have long-term contracts with our large digital properties, which, in general, contain minimum guarantee requirements. The typical contract length with our large digital properties is over two years (without any right by these properties to terminate earlier than that absent cause).

In December 2021 we announced a new agreement with Microsoft, our largest digital property partner, through July 2024. In connection with that agreement, we are developing a new technology which we began piloting on Microsoft’s digital properties in the first quarter of 2022. This new technology is expected to help us expand our footprint across Microsoft’s digital properties beyond our existing inventory. There can be no assurance that we will be able to launch the service utilizing the new technology on the currently anticipated schedule or at all, or as to the level or timing of market acceptance and our ability to attract new or existing digital properties and advertisers to the service. There can also be no assurance as to the costs related to the introduction and operation of the service, the timing and amount of any margin, profitability or other financial contributions of the service or the risk that the  service results in a decline in our financial performance during its pilot period, roll out and beyond compared to the results obtained under our prior arrangement with Microsoft.

The loss of all or a significant part of our business with our largest partners, particularly Microsoft and its affiliates, or unfavorable changes in the terms of our agreements with these partners could significantly harm our reputation, business, financial condition and results of operations.

We do not have long-term commitments from our advertisers, and we may not be able to retain advertisers or attract new advertisers that provide us with revenue that is comparable to the revenue generated by any advertisers we may lose.

Most of our advertisers do business with us by placing insertion orders for particular advertising campaigns. If we perform well on a particular campaign, then the advertiser may place new insertion orders with us for additional advertising campaigns. We rarely have any commitment from an advertiser beyond the campaign governed by a particular insertion order and, even then, each particular insertion order may not be completed since advertisers can typically terminate a campaign at any time on twenty-four hours’ notice. As a result, our success is dependent upon our ability to outperform our competitors and win repeat business from existing advertisers, while continually expanding the number of advertisers for whom we provide services. In addition, it is relatively easy for advertisers to seek an alternative provider for their campaigns because there are no significant switching costs. In addition, advertising agencies, with whom we do business, often have relationships with many different providers, each of whom may be running portions of the same campaign. Because we generally do not have long-term contracts, it may be difficult for us to accurately predict future revenue streams. We cannot provide assurance that our current advertisers will continue to use our solutions, or that we will be able to replace departing advertisers with new advertisers that provide us with comparable revenue.

We may not be able to retain digital properties or attract new digital properties that provide us with digital space that is sufficient for our volume of sponsored content or comparable to the digital space provided by any digital properties we may lose.

We do business with our partners by allowing them to share in the revenues we receive from advertisers from campaigns that are placed on their digital properties. If the content we place on the digital property is successful, and the partner is satisfied with our performance and ability to generate revenue, the digital property partner may continue to want us to place content on their website. Alternatively, if we cannot maintain the quality of the content, digital property satisfaction with our platform may decrease. As our advertiser content may appear on multiple digital properties, any decrease in quality may rapidly affect many digital properties in a short period of time. Our commitments from digital properties are for various periods of time, but our success is dependent upon our ability to successfully execute campaigns using available digital space and maintaining partner satisfaction, while continually expanding the number of digital properties from whom we purchase digital space as needed to meet content volume. In addition, after expiration of our agreements, it is easy for digital properties to seek an alternative supplier of content for their digital space because there are no switching costs. We also face a risk that digital property contract renewals decrease our margins as digital properties may seek to negotiate a higher revenue share. Thus, we cannot provide assurance that our current partners will continue to want us to place content on their digital properties, or that we will be able to replace departing digital properties with new digital properties that provide us with sufficient or comparable digital space. In addition, certain trends in the industry designed to achieve a different user experience may significantly impact our business. For example, a partner may redesign its digital property causing us to have less real estate for our content or placing us in less profitable locations of the website.

If our access to quality digital properties or content from advertisers is diminished or if we fail to acquire new content, our revenue could decline and our growth prospects could be impeded.

We must maintain a consistent supply of attractive content and quality digital properties on which we place content. If our access to attractive content diminishes, our ability to pay digital properties will diminish, and if access to quality digital properties diminishes then advertisers may not want to work with us. Thus, our success depends both on our ability to secure quality content and digital real estate.

The amount, quality and cost of supply available to us can change over time. Our digital properties’ contracts are for various periods. As a result, we cannot provide any assurance that we will have ongoing access to a consistent supply of quality digital real estate. Moreover, the number of competitors in our industry is substantial and continues to increase, which could negatively affect the terms of doing business with our digital property partners and ultimately our gross margin. If we are unable to compete favorably for digital properties, we may not be able to place content at competitive rates or find alternative sources of supply with comparable traffic patterns and consumer demographics in a timely manner. Similarly, if we are unable to maintain a consistent supply of quality content from advertisers for any reason, our business, digital property partners retention and loyalty, financial condition and results of operations would be harmed.

If we are successful in attracting more advertising inventory from digital properties than we can satisfy with demand from advertisers, our relationship with certain digital properties, our revenues and our business could be adversely impacted.

Our business model depends on our ability to coordinate the supply of advertising inventory from our digital property partners with demand for that inventory from advertisers. Any material failure to effectively maintain a sufficient number of advertisers relative to the inventory we have available could cause digital properties not to utilize our platform or impair Taboola’s AI’s ability to accurately predict user engagement. As a result, our relationships with certain digital properties, our revenues and our business could be adversely impacted.

If Taboola fails to maintain the quality of content or to prevent low quality, offensive or other non-compliant content from appearing on the digital properties, we could lose digital properties and advertisers, which could cause our results of operations and revenues to decline.

Advertiser and digital property satisfaction with our solution depends on our ability to place high quality advertiser content with content from digital properties that is well-suited to the advertiser’s product or service. If we are unable to keep our advertisers’ content from being placed with low quality, offensive or other non-compliant editorial content, or if we are unable to keep low quality, offensive or other non-compliant ads off of our network of digital properties, our reputation and business may suffer. As we grow our business to serve a larger number of advertisers and digital properties, it could become more challenging to prevent low quality, offensive or other non-compliant content from being shown. In addition, the categories of content that our digital properties accept may change over time and as these categories are removed from our inventory, we could suffer a decrease in cost-per-click and overall revenue. If we are unable to maintain the quality of our advertiser and digital properties, our reputation and business may suffer and we may not be able to retain or secure additional advertiser or digital property relationships.

Historically, the majority of our agreements with digital properties have typically required them to provide us with exclusivity for the term of the agreement. To the extent that such exclusivity is reduced or eliminated for any reason, including due to changes in market practice or changes in or in response to laws, rules or regulations, digital properties could elect to implement competitive platforms or services that could be detrimental to our performance, thereby reducing our revenues and harming our business.

Although the majority of our agreements with digital properties have historically required digital properties to provide us with exclusivity for the term of the agreement, there is no guarantee that we will be able to continue to obtain such exclusive arrangements or to renew existing arrangements on similar terms in the future. To the extent that such exclusivity is reduced or eliminated for any reason, including due to changes in market practice or changes in or in response to laws, rules or regulations, our partners could elect to implement other platforms or services on their digital properties or to seek out other third parties with which to do business, which could be detrimental to our performance, thereby reducing our revenues and having an adverse effect on our business.

If we fail to detect fraudulent clicks, including non-human traffic, serve advertisements on undesirable websites, or serve content that is inappropriate to certain of our digital properties, our reputation will suffer, which would harm our brand and reputation and negatively impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our business depends in part on providing our advertisers and digital properties with a service that they trust, and we have contractual commitments to take reasonable measures to prevent click fraud or distributing content on undesirable digital properties. We use proprietary technology to detect click fraud and block inventory that we know or suspect to be fraudulent. Preventing and combating fraud requires constant vigilance, and we may not always be successful in our efforts to do so. In addition, as we continue to improve our click fraud detection mechanisms, we may find that a portion of our traffic is the result of click fraud, and eliminating this fraudulent traffic would reduce our revenues. We also use proprietary technology to prevent our advertisers’ content from appearing on undesirable digital properties, but we may not be successful in doing so, which would harm our relationship with advertisers. Any of these things would harm our brand and reputation and negatively impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our platform and business are subject to a wide variety of risks from individuals from inside and outside our company. Our policies and procedures may be inadequate to protect us from material losses or other harm caused by these bad actors, which could negatively impact our business, results of operations and reputation.

Our platform and business are subject to a wide variety of risks from individuals both inside and outside our company. We have established policies and procedures to manage our exposure to risk, including risks arising from the actions of our employees. These policies may not be adequate or effective in managing our future risk exposure or protecting us against unidentified or unanticipated risks. Although we regularly update our policies and procedures, including with respect to sanctions, bribery, money laundering and insider trading, we may fail to predict future risks due to rapid changes in the market and regulatory conditions and in new markets we enter. Although we have established internal controls to ensure our risk management policies and procedures are adhered to by our employees as we conduct our business, our internal controls may not effectively prevent or detect any non-compliance of our policies and procedures. In particular, these measures may not adequately address or prevent all illegal, improper, or otherwise inappropriate activity from occurring and such conduct could expose us to liability, including through litigation, or adversely affect our brand or reputation. Further, any negative publicity related to the foregoing, whether such an incident occurred on our platform or on our competitors’ platforms, could adversely affect public perception of our industry as a whole, which could negatively affect demand for platforms like ours, and potentially lead to increased regulatory or litigation exposure. Any of the foregoing risks could negatively impact our business, results of operations and reputation.

Our business depends on strong brands and well-known digital properties, and failing to maintain and enhance our brands and well-known digital properties would hurt our ability to expand our number of advertisers and digital properties.

Building and maintaining market awareness, brand recognition and goodwill in a cost-effective manner is important to our overall success in achieving widespread acceptance of our existing and future solutions. In particular, our business depends on access to strong brands and well-known digital properties, such as prominent media outlets, and failing to maintain and enhance our relationships with such brands and digital properties would hurt our ability to strengthen our own brand and to expand our current number of advertisers and digital properties. Our efforts in developing our brand may be hindered by the marketing efforts of our competitors, to the degree our competitors are able to decrease the number of high-profile digital properties we are able to work with. Alternatively, if a significant number of well-known digital properties ceased to do business with us due to changing market conditions or for other reasons, our own brand image and reputation could suffer and our business and results of operations could be adversely affected.

The widespread use of technologies that can block or limit the display of our ads could adversely affect our financial results and business.

Technologies have been developed, and will likely continue to be developed, that can block the display of our ads or content or block our ad measurement tools, particularly for advertising displayed on personal computers. We generate substantially all of our revenue from advertising, including revenue resulting from the display of ads via our platform on personal computers. Revenue generated from the display of ads on personal computers has been impacted by these technologies from time to time. As a result, these technologies may have an adverse effect on our financial results and, if such technologies continue to proliferate, in particular with respect to mobile platforms, our future financial results may be harmed.

Our business depends on continued and unimpeded access to the Internet and digital properties by us and our users. Internet access providers, device manufacturers, browser developers or owners of digital properties may be able to restrict, block, degrade, or charge for access to certain of our products and services, which could lead to significant degradation of our service or additional expenses and the loss of users and advertisers.

Our products and services depend on the ability of consumers to access the Internet. Currently, this access is provided by companies that have significant market power in the broadband and internet access marketplace, including incumbent telephone companies, cable companies, mobile communications companies, and government-owned service providers. Some of these providers may take measures that could degrade, disrupt, or increase the cost of user access by restricting or prohibiting the use of their infrastructure to support our platform, by charging increased fees to us or our users, or by providing our competitors preferential access. Some jurisdictions have adopted regulations prohibiting certain forms of discrimination by internet access providers; however, substantial uncertainty exists in the United States and elsewhere regarding such protections. For example, in 2018 the United States Federal Communications Commission repealed net neutrality rules, which could permit internet access providers to restrict, block, degrade, or charge for access. In addition, our platform may be subject to government-initiated restrictions or blockages. COVID-19 has also resulted in quarantines, shelter in place orders, and work from home directives, all of which have increased demands for internet access and may create access challenges. These could result in a decrease of users interacting with our platform, and could impair our ability to attract new advertisers and digital properties.

In addition, we rely on data signals from user activity on websites that we do not control in order to deliver relevant and effective ads on behalf of our advertisers. Our advertising revenue is dependent on targeting and measurement tools that incorporate these signals, and any changes in our ability to use such signals will adversely affect our business. For example, legislative and regulatory changes, such as the GDPR and CCPA, may impact our ability to use such signals in our ad products. In addition, mobile operating system and browser providers, such as Apple and Google, have announced product changes as well as future plans to limit the ability of application developers to use these signals to target and measure advertising on their platforms. These developments may limit our ability to target and measure the effectiveness of ads on our platform, and any additional loss of such signals in the future will adversely affect our targeting and measurement capabilities and negatively impact our advertising revenue.

Large and established internet and technology companies may be able to independently transform the marketplace for data and native advertising and significantly impair our ability to operate.

Large and established internet and technology companies such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google may have the power to significantly change the very nature of the internet display advertising marketplace, and these changes could materially disadvantage us. For example, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google have substantial resources and have a significant share of widely adopted industry platforms such as web browsers, mobile operating systems and advertising exchanges and networks. In addition, these or other companies may bundle other services alongside the services that compete with our solutions, thus potentially creating a more competitive platform than ours. Therefore, these companies could leverage their position to make changes to their web browsers, mobile operating systems, platforms, exchanges, networks or other products or services that could be significantly harmful to our business and results of operations.

From time to time certain of our digital properties, typically small and medium digital properties, have, and in the future may continue to, violate the terms of their agreements with us by depriving us of their contractually required advertising inventory.

If a significant number of these digital properties violate their agreements, it could be impractical for us to pursue remedies against all of them and as a result we may lack sufficient or timely advertising inventory for our advertiser clients. As a result, advertisers may be less likely to contract with us in the future. The combined effect of this disruption to our anticipated advertising inventory, and related supply and demand dynamics, could have an adverse effect on our revenue, business operations and reputation.

We have already and may in the future invest in or acquire other businesses, which could require significant management attention, disrupt our business, dilute shareholder value and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

As part of our business strategy, we have made and may make future investments in or acquisitions of complementary companies, products or technologies. These activities, including the Connexity acquisition in September 2021, involve significant risks to our business. We may not be able to find other suitable acquisition candidates, and we may not be able to complete such acquisitions on favorable terms, if at all. If we do complete acquisitions, they may not ultimately strengthen our competitive position. Any acquisitions we complete could be viewed negatively by our partners and clients, which could have an adverse impact on our business. In addition, if we are unsuccessful at integrating employees or technologies acquired, our financial condition and results of operations, including revenue growth, could be adversely affected. Any acquisition and subsequent integration will require significant time and resources. We may not be able to successfully evaluate and use the acquired technology or employees, or otherwise manage the acquisition and integration processes successfully. We will be required to pay cash, incur debt and/or issue equity securities to pay for any such acquisition, each of which could adversely affect our financial condition. Our use of cash to pay for acquisitions would limit other potential uses of our cash, including investments in our sales and marketing and product development organizations, and in infrastructure to support scalability. The issuance or sale of equity or convertible debt securities to finance any such acquisitions would result in dilution to our shareholders. If we incur debt, it would result in increased fixed obligations and could also impose covenants or other restrictions that could impede our ability to manage our operations.

If we do not effectively grow and train our sales team and account managers, we may be unable to add new digital properties and advertisers or increase sales to our existing digital properties and advertisers, and our business would be adversely affected.

We continue to be substantially dependent on our sales team and account managers to obtain new digital properties and advertisers and to drive sales from our existing digital properties and advertisers. We believe that there is significant competition for sales personnel with the skills and technical knowledge that we require. Our ability to achieve significant revenue growth will depend, in large part, on our success in recruiting, training, integrating and retaining sufficient numbers of sales personnel to support our growth. New hires require significant training and it may take significant time before they achieve full productivity. Our recent hires and planned hires may not become productive as quickly as we expect, and we may be unable to hire or retain sufficient numbers of qualified individuals in the markets where we do business or plan to do business. In addition, if we continue to grow rapidly, a large percentage of our sales team will be new to the company and our solutions. If we are unable to hire and train sufficient numbers of effective sales personnel, or the sales personnel are not successful in obtaining new digital properties and advertisers or increasing sales to our existing digital property and advertiser base, our business would be adversely affected. Finally, managing our sales team and account managers, particularly in light of our growth, and enforcing compliance with our sales policies is a challenge for us.

If we do not effectively maintain and grow our research and development team with top talent, including employees who are trained in artificial intelligence, machine learning and advanced algorithms, we may be unable to continue to improve on our artificial intelligence, our performance could decline and we could lose digital properties and advertisers, which could cause our results of operations and revenues to decline.

Our future success depends on our ability to continue to attract, retain and motivate highly skilled employees, software engineers and other employees with the technical skills in artificial intelligence, machine learning and advanced algorithms that will enable us to deliver effective advertising and content solutions. Competition for highly skilled employees in our industry is intense, particularly in the fields of artificial intelligence and data science. In 2021, we experienced greater than expected turnover among highly skilled employees, reflecting intense competition, continued COVID-related labor market disruptions and the so-called “great resignation.” We expect certain of our key competitors, who generally are larger than us and have access to more substantial resources, to pursue top talent even more aggressively.

We may be unable to attract or retain such highly skilled personnel who are critical to our success, which could hinder our ability to keep pace with innovation and technological change in our industry or result in harm to our key advertiser and digital property relationships, loss of key information, expertise or proprietary knowledge and unanticipated recruitment and training costs. The loss of the services of such key employees could make it more difficult to successfully operate our business and pursue our business goals.

Our growth depends, in part, on the success of our strategic relationships with third parties, including ready access to hardware in key locations to facilitate the delivery of our platform and reliable management of Internet traffic. Supply disruptions can impede our operations, ability to grow and financial performance and also result in significant cost increases.

We anticipate that we will continue to depend on various third-party relationships in order to grow our business. We continue to pursue additional relationships with third parties, such as technology and content providers, content delivery networks, data partnerships, co-location facilities and other strategic partners. Identifying, negotiating and documenting relationships with third parties requires significant time and resources, as does integrating third-party data and services. Our agreements with providers of technology, computer hardware, co-location facilities, and content are typically non-exclusive, do not prohibit them from working with our competitors or from offering competing services and do not typically have minimum purchase commitments. Our competitors may be effective in providing incentives to third parties to favor their products or services over ours or to otherwise prevent or reduce purchases of our solutions. In addition, these third parties may go out of business, no longer offer their services to us or not perform as expected under our agreements with them, and we may have disagreements or disputes with such third parties, which could negatively affect our brand and reputation.

In particular, our continued growth depends on our ability to source computer hardware, including servers built to our specifications, and the ability to locate those servers and related hardware in co-location facilities in the most desirable locations to facilitate the timely delivery of our services. Disruptions in the services provided at co-location facilities that we rely upon can degrade the level of services that we can provide, which could harm our business. We also rely on our integration with many third-party technology providers to execute our business on a daily basis. We rely on a third-party domain name service, or DNS, to direct traffic to our closest data center for efficient processing. If our DNS provider experiences disruptions or performance problems, this could result in inefficient balancing of traffic across our servers as well as impairing or preventing web browser connectivity to our site, which could harm our business.

Supply disruptions could materially impede our growth and our ability to maintain our existing platform. Disruptions in supply can be caused by many factors, including decreases in manufacturing output and labor shortages due to COVID-19 or other reasons; the availability of one or more components including semiconductors, which are currently in short supply; the impacts of pent-up demand; transportation and delivery issues; geopolitical issues; and other circumstances. Such disruptions can result in the delay or inability to obtain necessary hardware, or significant cost increases, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our existing business, our ability to grow and our financial performance.

Our future success depends on the continuing efforts of our key employees, including our founder, and on our ability to hire, train, motivate and retain additional employees, including key employees.

Our future success depends heavily upon the continuing services of our key employees, including our founder and CEO, Adam Singolda, and on our ability to attract and retain members of our management team and other highly skilled employees, including software engineers, analytics and operations employees and sales professionals. The market for talent in our key areas of operations, including Bangkok, California, New York, Sao Paulo, Tel Aviv, and London, is intensely competitive. Our competitors may provide more generous benefits, more diverse opportunities and better chances for career advancement than we do. Some of these advantages may be more appealing to high-quality candidates than those we have to offer. Any of our employees may terminate his or her employment with us at any time.

New employees often require significant training and, in many cases, take significant time before they achieve full productivity. As a result, we may incur significant costs to attract and retain employees, including significant expenditures related to salaries and benefits and compensation expenses related to equity awards, and we may lose new employees to our competitors or other companies before we realize the benefit of our investment in recruiting and training them. Moreover, new employees may not be or become as productive as we expect, as we may face challenges in adequately or appropriately integrating them into our workforce and culture. In addition, as we move into new geographies, we will need to attract and recruit skilled employees in those areas.

Even if we are successful in hiring qualified new employees, we may be subject to allegations that we have improperly solicited such employees while they remained employed by our competitors, that such employees have improperly solicited other colleagues of theirs employed by the same competitors or that such employees have divulged proprietary or other confidential information to us in violation of their agreements with such competitors. If we are unable to attract, integrate and retain suitably qualified individuals, our business, financial position and results of operations would be harmed.

Our corporate culture has contributed to our success. If we cannot maintain it as we grow, we could lose the innovation, creativity and teamwork fostered by our culture, and our business could be harmed.

We are undergoing rapid growth and we intend to further expand our overall headcount and operations both domestically and internationally and through acquisitions, and we may not be able to do so while effectively maintaining our corporate culture. We believe our corporate culture has been a critical component of our success as we believe it fosters innovation, teamwork, passion for partners and clients and focus on execution, while facilitating knowledge sharing across our organization. As we grow and change, we may find it difficult to preserve our corporate culture, which could reduce our ability to innovate and operate effectively. In turn, the failure to preserve our culture could negatively affect our ability to attract, recruit, integrate and retain employees, continue to perform at current levels and effectively execute our business strategy.

Many advertisers typically spend less in the first quarter and more in the fourth quarter of each calendar year. Our historical revenue growth has mitigated the impact of these seasonal fluctuations in advertising activity. If our growth declines or these typical advertising patterns become more pronounced, seasonality could have a material impact on our revenue, cash flows and operating results.

Our revenue, cash flow and other key operating and performance metrics may vary from quarter to quarter due to the seasonal nature of our advertiser clients’ spending on advertising campaigns. For example, many advertisers tend to devote more of their advertising budgets to the fourth calendar quarter to coincide with consumer holiday spending and correspondingly to spend less in the first quarter. Moreover, advertising inventory in the fourth quarter may be more expensive due to increased demand for it. Our historical revenue growth has masked the impact of seasonality in the past, but if our growth rate declines or seasonal spending becomes more pronounced, seasonality could have a more significant impact on our revenue, cash flow and results of operations from period to period.

We usually incur the cost of an advertiser’s campaign before we bill for services. Such advertisers may have or develop high-risk credit profiles, which may result in credit risk.

We usually incur the cost of an advertiser’s campaign before we bill for services. A portion of our advertiser-side business is sourced through advertising agencies, and we contract with these agencies as agent for a disclosed principal, which is the advertiser. Typically, the advertising agency pays for our services once it has received payment from the advertiser for our services. Our agreements with these agencies typically provide that if the advertiser does not pay the agency, the agency is not liable to us, and we must seek payment solely from the advertiser.

In addition, contracting with advertisers who have or develop high-risk credit profiles, subjects us to credit risk. This credit risk may vary depending on the nature of the advertiser’s business and the advertiser’s monetization of the traffic generated. Any inability to collect costs we have advanced or other amounts due to us, including write-offs of accounts receivable, could have a materially negative effect on our results of operations.

We often pay our digital properties their share of the revenue generated by an advertiser’s campaigns whether or not we have received payment from the advertisers and even if we never receive payment from such advertiser. In addition, we agree with digital properties on a fixed cost for the digital space but a large portion of our revenue from advertisers is tied to the performance of the campaign. As a result, our results of operations and financial condition could be adversely impacted if we do not receive timely payment from our advertisers or if our campaigns do not perform as expected.

Risks Related to Laws and Regulations

We are a multinational organization faced with complex and changing laws and regulations regarding privacy, data protection, content, competition, consumer protection, and other matters. Many of these laws and regulations are subject to change and uncertain interpretation, and could result in claims, changes to our business practices, monetary penalties, increased cost of operations, or declines in user engagement, or otherwise harm our business.

We are subject to a variety of laws and regulations in the United States and other countries that involve matters central to our business, including privacy, data protection, content, competition, consumer protection, and other matters. The expansion of our activities in certain jurisdictions, or other actions that we may take may subject us to additional laws, regulations, or other government scrutiny. In addition, foreign privacy, data protection, content, competition, and other laws and regulations can impose different obligations or be more restrictive than those in the United States. For additional discussion of privacy and data protection laws and regulations applicable to our business, see “Risk Factors—Risks Related to Laws and Regulations—Legislation and regulation of online businesses, including privacy and data protection regimes, could create unexpected costs, subject us to enforcement actions for compliance failures, or cause us to change our technology platform or business model, which could have a material adverse effect on our business.”

Laws and regulations of the countries and their legal subdivisions in which we operate or conduct business or in which our employees reside, which in some cases can be enforced by private parties in addition to government entities, are constantly evolving and can be subject to significant change. As a result, the application, interpretation, and enforcement of these laws and regulations are often uncertain, particularly in the new and rapidly evolving industry in which we operate, and may be interpreted and applied inconsistently from country to country and inconsistently with our current policies and practices. For example, regulatory or legislative actions affecting the manner in which we display content to our users could adversely affect user growth and engagement. Such actions could affect the manner in which we provide access to our platform or adversely affect our financial results.

These laws and regulations, as well as any associated claims, inquiries, or investigations or any other government actions, have in the past led to, and may in the future lead to, unfavorable outcomes including increased compliance costs, delays or impediments in the development of new products, negative publicity and reputational harm, increased operating costs, diversion of management time and attention, and remedies that harm our business, including fines or demands or orders that we modify or cease existing business practices.

Legislation and regulation of online businesses, including privacy and data protection regimes, could create unexpected costs, subject us to enforcement actions for compliance failures, or cause us to change our technology platform or business model, which could have a material adverse effect on our business.

Government regulation could increase the costs of doing business online. U.S. and many international governments have enacted or are considering legislation and regulation related to online advertising to which we are or may become subject, and we expect to see an increase in legislation and regulation related to digital advertising, the collection and use of Internet user data and unique device identifiers, such as IP address or unique mobile device identifiers, and other privacy and data protection legislation and regulation. The regulatory environment related to privacy and data protection is increasingly rigorous, with new and constantly changing requirements applicable to our business, and enforcement practices are likely to remain uncertain for the foreseeable future. Such legislation and regulation could affect the costs of doing business online, and could reduce the demand for our solutions or otherwise harm our business, financial condition, and results of operations. These laws and regulations may be interpreted and applied differently over time and from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and it is possible that they will be interpreted and applied in ways that may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows. For example, a wide variety of provincial, state, national, and international laws and regulations apply to the collection, use, retention, protection, disclosure, transfer and other processing of personal data. While we generally have not collected data from Internet users that is traditionally considered to be personal data, such as name, email address, address, phone numbers, social security numbers, credit card numbers, financial, or health data, we typically do collect and store IP addresses, cookie IDs, and other device identifiers that are or may be considered personal data in some jurisdictions or otherwise may be the subject of legislation or regulation.

For example, in the United States, various federal and state regulators, including governmental agencies like the Federal Trade Commission, or the FTC, have adopted, or are considering adopting, laws and regulations concerning privacy and data protection. Certain state laws may be more stringent or broader in scope, or offer greater individual rights, with respect to data than federal, international, or other state laws, which may differ from one other, complicating compliance efforts. For example, the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, or CCPA, increases privacy rights for California consumers and imposes obligations on companies that process their personal data (including device identifiers, IP addresses, cookies and geo-location). Among other things, the CCPA requires covered companies to provide new disclosures to California consumers and provide such consumers new data protection and privacy rights, including the ability to opt-out of certain sales of personal data. The CCPA provides for civil penalties for violations, as well as a private right of action for certain data breaches that result in the loss of personal data. Additionally, voters approved a new privacy law, the California Privacy Rights Act, or the CPRA, in November 2020. Beginning on January 1, 2023, the CPRA will significantly modify the CCPA, including by expanding California consumers’ rights with respect to certain sensitive personal data. Other states have enacted, or are considering enacting, similar legislation. For example, the new Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act, or CDPA, which will go into effect on January 1, 2023, and the new Colorado Privacy Act, or CPA, which will go into effect on July 1, 2023, offer a range of new privacy rights to Virginia and Colorado consumers, respectively, including the ability to opt-out of sales of personal data and uses of personal data for “targeted advertising.” They also obligate covered companies to (1) conduct data protection assessments before engaging in certain processing activities including targeted advertising, sales of personal data, and processing of sensitive personal data and other data that presents heightened risks of harm to consumers; and (2) enter into contracts with third-party processors and their subprocessors. State laws continue to change rapidly, all while discussions continue in Congress about a new comprehensive U.S. federal data privacy law, to which Taboola would become subject, if it is enacted

Internationally, laws, regulations and standards in many jurisdictions apply broadly to the collection, use, retention, security, disclosure, transfer and other processing of personal data. For example, the GDPR, which became effective in May 2018, greatly increased the European Commission’s jurisdictional reach of its laws and adds a broad array of requirements for handling personal data (including online identifiers and location data). EU member states are tasked under the GDPR to enact, and have enacted, certain implementing legislation that adds to and/or further interprets the GDPR requirements and potentially extends our obligations and potential liability for failing to meet such obligations. The GDPR, together with national legislation, regulations and guidelines of the EU member states governing the processing of personal data, impose strict obligations and restrictions on the ability to collect, use, retain, protect, disclose, transfer and otherwise process personal data. In particular, the GDPR includes obligations and restrictions concerning the consent and rights of individuals to whom the personal data relates, the transfer of personal data out of the European Economic Area, or the EEA, security breach notifications and the security and confidentiality of personal data. The GDPR authorizes fines for certain violations of up to 4% of global annual revenue or €20 million, whichever is greater. In addition, some countries are considering or have passed legislation implementing data protection requirements or requiring local storage and processing of data or similar requirements that could increase the cost and complexity of delivering our services.

For the transfer of personal data from the EEA to the U.S., we rely upon direct contractual agreements between Taboola’s European corporate entity, Taboola Europe Limited, and Taboola’s U.S. corporate entity, Taboola, Inc., based on the EU’s standard contractual clauses. These contractual agreements obligate Taboola’s U.S. operations to uphold adequate data protection measures (appropriate safeguards, enforceable data subject rights, and effective legal remedies for data subjects) on all data that Taboola transfers to the U.S. from the EEA on its own behalf and on behalf of its clients and partners. However, standard contractual clauses have been subjected to regulatory and judicial scrutiny and the legal bases for cross-border data transfers are constantly evolving. A recent decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (“Schrems II”) ruled that standard contractual clauses are not sufficient, on their own, to provide appropriate safeguards for transfers of personal data from the European Union to the United States (and other non-EEA countries) and that companies that engage in these transfers, like Taboola, need to undertake data transfer risk assessments and implement any “supplementary measures” necessary to address any risks identified in order to ensure that the data they transfer continues to be protected to a standard that is essentially equivalent with the GDPR.

The withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union also has created uncertainty with regard to the regulation of data protection in the United Kingdom, or the UK. Since January 1 2021, when the transitional period following Brexit expired, we have been required to comply with the GDPR as well as the UK GDPR (combining the GDPR and the UK’s Data Protection Act of 2018), which exposes us to two parallel regimes, each of which authorizes similar fines and may subject us to increased compliance risk based on differing, and potentially inconsistent or conflicting, interpretation and enforcement by regulators and authorities (particularly, if the laws are amended in the future in divergent ways). With respect to transfers of personal data from the EEA, on June 28, 2021, the European Commission issued an adequacy decision in respect of the United Kingdom’s data protection framework, enabling data transfers from EU member states to the United Kingdom to continue without requiring organizations to put in place contractual or other measures in order to lawfully transfer personal data between the territories. While it is intended to last for at least four years, the European Commission may unilaterally revoke the adequacy decision at any point, and if this occurs, it could lead to additional costs and increase our overall risk exposure.

The data privacy landscape in Asia and the Pacific has undergone a dramatic transformation in the past decade, with strong indication that the region’s privacy regulations will continue to rapidly evolve. Most recently, in 2021, China strengthened its commitment to protect personal data by adopting the new Personal Information Protection Law, or PIPL, which gives data subjects the power to control and determine how, with whom, and for what purposes their personal data can be shared, analyzed, or handled. While the PIPL establishes a regime that is largely similar to the GDPR, it also imposes some stricter requirements. For instance, the PIPL has heightened disclosure requirements and specific consents for processing sensitive personal data and transferring personal data outside of China. The PIPL also mandates security impact assessments under a number of processing scenarios and imposes a data localization requirement on both operators of critical information infrastructure and covered companies that process large volumes of personal data. The PIPL also creates penalties for organizations that fail to fulfill their obligations to protect personal data, with potential fines up to 5% of annual revenue.

Evolving and changing definitions of personal data, within the EU, Asia, the United States, and elsewhere, especially relating to classification of IP addresses, machine or device identifiers, and other information, have in the past and could in the future, cause us to change our business practices, expend significant costs to modify our data processing practices or policies, preoccupy management, divert resources from other initiatives and projects, or limit or inhibit our ability to operate or expand our business. Evolving data protection and privacy-related laws and regulations could embolden regulatory and public scrutiny, increase levels of enforcement, and pose risk of sanctions for noncompliance. While we currently take steps to avoid collecting personal data that would enable the direct identification of Internet users, we may inadvertently receive this information from advertisers or advertising agencies or through the process of delivering our service. Additionally, while we take measures to protect the security of information that we collect, use and disclose in the operation of our business, and to offer certain privacy protections with respect to such information, such measures may not always be effective. Our advertising clients or digital property partners have or may in the future impose new restrictions relating to the quickly evolving privacy and data protection laws and regulations with which we must adapt and comply. Our failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations, or to protect personal data, could result in enforcement or litigation action against us, including fines, sanctions, penalties, judgments, imprisonment of our officers and public censure, claims for damages by consumers and other affected individuals, damage to our reputation and loss of goodwill, any of which could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Even the perception of privacy concerns, whether or not valid, could harm our reputation and inhibit adoption of our solutions by current and future clients and partners.

Potential “Do Not Track” standards or government regulation could negatively impact our business by limiting our access to the user data that informs the advertising campaigns we run, and as a result could degrade our performance for our digital properties and advertisers.

As the use of cookies has received ongoing media attention in recent years, some government regulators and privacy advocates have suggested creating a “Do Not Track” standard that would allow Internet users to express a preference, independent of cookie settings in their web browser, not to have their website browsing recorded. All the major Internet browsers have implemented some version of a “Do Not Track” setting. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer includes a “Do Not Track” setting that is selected “on” by default. However, there is limited guidance, consensus and industry standards regarding the definition of “tracking,” what message is conveyed by a “Do Not Track” setting and how to respond to a “Do Not Track” preference. We could face competing policy standards, or standards that put our business model at a competitive disadvantage to other companies that collect data from Internet users, standards that reduce the effectiveness of our solutions, or standards that require us to make costly changes to our solutions. For example, the FTC has stated that it will pursue a legislative solution if the industry cannot agree upon a standard. “Do Not Track” has seen renewed emphasis from proponents of the CCPA, and the CPRA and the CCPA and the CPRA, in certain circumstances, requires browser-based or similar “do not sell” signals. If a standard is imposed by international federal or state legislation, or agreed upon by standard setting groups, that requires us to recognize a “Do Not Track” signal and prohibits us from using data as we currently do, then that could hinder growth of advertising and content production on the web generally, and limit the quality and amount of data we are able to store and use, which would cause us to change our business practices and adversely affect our business.

User growth and engagement depends upon effective interoperation with devices, platforms and standards set by third parties across the entire ad tech ecosystem that we do not control.

Technology companies in the Internet browsers and operating systems spaces have announced intentions to discontinue the use of cookies, and to develop alternative methods and mechanisms for tracking users. The most commonly used Internet browsers allow users to modify their browser settings to block first-party cookies (placed directly by the media partner or website owner that the user intends to interact with) or third-party cookies, and some browsers block third-party cookies by default. For example, Apple previously released an update to its Safari browser that limits the use of third-party cookies, which reduces our ability to provide the most relevant ads to our users and impacts monetization, and also released changes to iOS, requiring users to voluntarily choose (opt-in) to permit app developers to track them across applications and websites, that limit our ability to target and measure ads effectively. In January 2020, Google announced its intention to limit the use of third-party cookies, and potentially in the near future, Google’s Chrome web browser will no longer support third-party cookies or allow users to be tracked across the Internet. While this isn’t expected to be in full effect until 2023 or later, the depreciation of third-party cookies in Google Chrome will force many businesses to reevaluate their marketing strategies.

In addition, mobile devices using Android and iOS operating systems limit the ability of cookies to track users while they are using applications other than their web browser on the device. As a consequence, fewer of our cookies or media partners’ cookies may be set in browsers or be accessible in mobile devices, which can adversely affect our business.

As technology companies in such sectors replace cookies, it is possible that such companies may rely on proprietary algorithms or statistical methods to track users without cookies, or may utilize log-in credentials entered by users into other web properties owned by these companies, such as their email services, to track web usage, including usage across multiple devices. Alternatively, such companies may build different and potentially proprietary user tracking methods into their widely-used web browsers. Although we believe we are well positioned to adapt and continue to provide key data insights to our media partners without cookies, this transition could be more disruptive, slower, or more expensive than we currently anticipate, and could materially affect the accuracy of our recommendations and ads and thus our ability to serve our advertisers, including through our data marketplace product, adversely affecting our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

Potential regulation or oversight over native advertising disclosure standards could negatively impact our business by affecting click through rates, which in turn affects the profitability of our digital properties and advertisers.

As “native” advertising, or advertising content designed to blend in with editorial content, increases in popularity among advertisers, digital properties, marketers and regulators are still considering varying approaches and guidelines relating to the labeling of such content. In the United States, the FTC requires that all online advertising must meet a few basic principles: it must be truthful and not misleading, it must substantiate any express or implied claims, it cannot be unfair or deceptive, and any disclosures necessary to make an ad accurate must be clear and conspicuous. The FTC clarified those requirements in March 2013 with a document titled “Dot Com Disclosures: Information about Online Advertising.” Although open to interpretation, those guidelines suggested paid online ads must be disclosed and adequately labeled to users. In December 2013, the FTC held a workshop to discuss whether media outlets are adequately identifying sponsored stories. No clear answers were derived from the workshop, as the FTC did not offer specific guidance on exactly how that content should be labeled. However, failing to clearly disclose something material in an advertisement would, in the views of some participants, be a violation of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914. Also, in May 2019, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), a self-regulatory agency, released its “Native Advertising Playbook 2.0” with the aim of providing a framework for native advertising, including how to clearly and prominently disclose the material as an advertisement. The playbook explains that native advertising must plainly disclose that the ad has been paid for in a conspicuous manner, but does not provide much in the way of additional disclosure guidance. Similarly, self-regulatory bodies such as the National Advertising Division (“NAD”), the investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus, which has in the past year investigated several advertisers for their native advertising practices in the print and digital space as part of its routine monitoring program, has not provided specific guidance to digital properties and marketers. The NAD’s guidance has relied on the FTC’s advice to search engine companies, which emphasizes the need for visual cues, labels or other techniques to effectively distinguish advertisements in order to avoid misleading consumers, but does not specify what cues, labels or techniques should be used. In the past, both NAD and Advertising Standards Authority, the UK’s independent regulator of advertising, have handled complaints filed against us with respect to our labeling. While those complaints have since been resolved and we seek to comply with respect to the clear labeling rules and guidance issued by NAD and ASA, it is possible that the FTC or one of these self-regulatory bodies could disagree and find that our disclosures are not sufficiently clear or conspicuous to avoid misleading consumers and should be modified. Similar or more stringent standards and self-regulatory principals have been or could be implemented in other countries as well.

If we make mistakes in the implementation of such guidance, or our commitments with respect to these principles, we could be subject to negative publicity, government investigation, government or private litigation, or investigation by self-regulatory bodies or other accountability groups. Any such action against us could be costly and time consuming, require us to change our business practices, cause us to divert management’s attention and our resources and be damaging to our reputation and our business. Moreover, additional or different disclosures may lead to a reduction in end-user’s interaction with sponsored content we distribute resulting in reduced profitability to our digital properties and ourselves.

We are a multinational organization faced with complex and changing advertising regulation in many jurisdictions in which we operate, and we are obligated to comply with such advertising regulations in connection with the advertising we distribute on behalf of our advertiser clients. If we fail to comply with these advertising regulations we or our advertisers could be subject to liability or forced to reduce or suspend operations until we are able to comply, which could reduce our revenues.

We are subject to complex and changing advertising regulations in many jurisdictions in which we operate, and we are obligated to comply with such advertising regulations in connection with the advertising we distribute on behalf of our advertiser clients. For example, much of the federal oversight on digital advertising in the U.S. currently comes from the FTC, which has primarily relied upon Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, which prohibits companies from engaging in “unfair” or “deceptive” trade practices, including alleged violations of representations concerning privacy protections and acts that allegedly violate individuals’ privacy interests. If we or our advertiser clients are not able to comply with these laws or regulations or if we become liable under these laws or regulations, we could be directly harmed, and we may be forced to implement new measures to reduce our exposure to this liability. This may require us to expend substantial resources or to alter our business strategy, which would negatively affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

From time to time we are subject to litigation, administrative inquiries and similar governmental procedures, which may be extremely costly to defend, could result in substantial judgment or settlement costs or subject us to other remedies. Litigation and other disputes can also divert management’s attention from our operations and hurt our reputation.

From time to time we are involved in various legal proceedings or government investigations, including, but not limited to, actions relating to breach of contract, intellectual property infringement, competition law or other issues. For example, in April 2021, we became aware that the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice is conducting a criminal investigation of hiring activities in our industry, including us. We are cooperating with the Antitrust Division. While there can be no assurances as to the ultimate outcome, we do not believe that our conduct violated applicable law. Claims may be expensive to defend, may divert management’s time away from our operations, and may affect the availability and premiums of our liability insurance coverage, regardless of whether they are meritorious or ultimately lead to a judgment against us. We cannot assure you we will be able to successfully defend or resolve any current or future litigation matters, in which case those litigation matters could have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition, operating results, cash flows, reputation and prospects.

We are a multinational organization faced with increasingly complex tax issues in many jurisdictions, and we could be obligated to pay additional taxes in various jurisdictions as a result of new taxes and related laws, which may materially affect our business and results of operations.

As a multinational organization, operating in multiple jurisdictions including Brazil, China, European Union, India Israel, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States, among others, we may be subject to taxation in several jurisdictions around the world with increasingly complex tax laws, the application of which may be uncertain. The amount of taxes we pay in these jurisdictions could increase substantially as a result of changes in the applicable tax principles, including increased tax rates, new tax laws or revised interpretations of existing tax laws and precedents, which could have a material adverse effect on our liquidity and results of operations. In addition, as internet commerce and globalization continue to evolve, increasing regulation by government authorities becomes more likely. Our business could be negatively impacted by the application of existing laws and regulations or the enactment of new laws applicable to digital advertising. The cost to comply with such laws or regulations could be significant, and we may be unable to pass along those costs to our clients in the form of increased fees, which may negatively affect our business and results of operation. We are subject to regular review and audit by Israeli, U.S. and other foreign tax authorities. Although we believe our tax estimates are reasonable, the authorities in these jurisdictions could review our tax returns and impose additional taxes, interest and penalties, and the authorities could claim that various withholding requirements apply to us or our subsidiaries or assert that benefits of tax treaties are not available to us or our subsidiaries, any of which could materially affect our income tax provision, net income, or cash flows in the period or periods for which such determination and settlement is made.

Our operations may expose us to greater than anticipated tax liabilities, which could harm our financial condition and results of operations.

There is heightened scrutiny by fiscal authorities in many jurisdictions on the potential taxation of digital services, including but not limited to, online advertising, search engine and e-commerce businesses (referred to as DST or alike). The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has issued guidelines, referred to as the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting project (BEPS), to its member-nations aimed at encouraging broad-based legislative initiatives intended to prevent perceived base erosion transactions and income shifting in a tax-advantaged manner. Further, for the past several years, the OECD has had a specific focus on the implications of digital services including online advertising, search engine and e-commerce businesses, generally referred by the OECD as the “digital economy.” In the fourth quarter of 2019, the OECD released details on its proposed approach which would, among other changes, create a new right to tax certain “digital economy” income not necessarily based on traditional nexus concepts nor on the “arm’s length principle.” As there has been a lack of consensus among the key members, particularly the United States, several jurisdictions legislated digital tax provisions in an uncoordinated and unilateral manner that could result in greater or even double taxation that companies may not have sufficient means to remedy. For example, a number of jurisdictions, including the U.K., France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Turkey, India and other countries have already adopted or have formally proposed legislation to effect the taxation of digital services based on differing criteria and metrics.

On October 21, 2021, a Joint Statement of Austria, France, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US) was released describing a compromise reached by the countries on a transitional approach to the treatment of existing digital services taxes (DSTs) and other relevant similar measures during the interim period before new OECD rules, known as "Pillar One," come into effect.

Under the compromise, the five European countries, which are not required to withdraw their existing DST regimes until Pillar One takes effect, have agreed to allow a portion of taxes accrued by a multinational enterprise (MNE) under their DSTs or any other unilateral measures before Pillar One takes effect to be credited against the MNE’s future Pillar One Amount A tax liability when Pillar One rules are in effect.

Other countries (for example, India and Turkey) also reached a political agreement with the US that is consistent with the compromise stated above.

The taxation by multiple jurisdictions of digital services including online advertising and e-commerce could increase our tax burdens and compliance obligations as well as our costs of doing business internationally and our worldwide effective tax rate, which may adversely impact our financial position and results of operations.

Further, the taxation by multiple jurisdictions of digital businesses could subject us to exposure to withholding, sales, VAT, levies, and/or other taxes, including transaction taxes on our past and future transactions in such jurisdictions where we currently or in the future may be required to report taxable transactions. A successful assertion by any jurisdiction that we failed to pay such withholding, sales, VAT, levies or other taxes, or the imposition of new laws requiring the registration for, collection of, and payment of such taxes, could result in substantial tax liabilities related to past, current and future transactions, create increased administrative burdens and costs, discourage customers from purchasing content from us, or otherwise substantially harm our business and results of operations. We are currently subject to and in the future may become subject to additional compliance requirements for certain of these taxes. Changes in our exposure to withholding, sales, VAT, levies and/or other taxes could have an adverse impact on our financial condition in the future.

Our tax rate may vary significantly depending on our stock price.

The tax effects of the accounting for stock-based compensation may significantly impact our effective tax rate from period to period. In periods in which our stock price is higher than the grant price of the stock-based compensation vesting in that period, we will recognize excess tax benefits that will decrease our effective tax rate, while in periods in which our stock price is lower than the grant price of the stock-based compensation vesting in that period, our effective tax rate may increase. The amount and value of stock-based compensation issued relative to our earnings in a particular period will also affect the magnitude of the impact of stock-based compensation on our effective tax rate. These tax effects are dependent on our stock price, which we do not control, and a decline in our stock price could significantly increase our effective tax rate and adversely affect our financial results.

We could be required to collect additional sales, use, value added, digital services or other similar taxes or be subject to other liabilities that may increase the costs our clients would have to pay for our products and adversely affect our results of operations.

We collect value added and other similar taxes in a number of jurisdictions. One or more countries or U.S. states may seek to impose incremental or new sales, use, value added, digital services, or other tax collection obligations on us. A successful assertion by one or more U.S. states or foreign countries or change of law requiring us to collect taxes where we presently do not do so, or to collect more taxes in a jurisdiction in which we currently do collect some taxes, could result in substantial liabilities, including taxes on past sales, as well as interest and penalties. Furthermore, certain jurisdictions, such as the United Kingdom, France, India and Italy have recently introduced a digital services tax, which is generally a tax on gross revenue generated from users or customers located in those jurisdictions, and other jurisdictions have enacted or are considering enacting similar laws. A successful assertion by a U.S. state or local government, or other country or jurisdiction that we should have been or should be collecting additional sales, use, value added, digital services or other similar taxes could, among other things, result in substantial tax payments, create significant administrative burdens for us, discourage potential customers from subscribing to our platform due to the incremental cost of any such sales or other related taxes, or otherwise harm our business.

Furthermore, for the past several years, the OECD has had a specific focus on the taxation implications of e-commerce business, generally referred to by the OECD as the “digital economy.” A number of jurisdictions, including the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Turkey and more have already adopted legislation to effect the taxation of certain e-commerce business based on differing criteria and metrics. In October 2021, the OECD released an outline that describes the conceptual agreement between 136 countries on fundamental reforms to international tax rules. The outline provides for two primary “Pillars”; however, only Pillar Two, which provides for a global minimum corporate tax rate of 15%, is expected to be applicable to us. The OECD outline suggests that these reforms be implemented by 2023, but is contingent upon the independent actions of participating countries to enact law changes. If enacted into law, in whole or in part, this proposed change to international tax rules could have a negative impact to Taboola’s effective tax rate. Much is unknown about the Pillar Two rules at this time, including the agreed upon minimum tax rate, specifics related to the calculation of the potential minimum tax base, and whether the Pillar Two rules would be unanimously agreed upon by OECD member nations and adopted globally. Accordingly, should we become subject to the Pillar Two rules in the future, this could have a material adverse impact on our business operations.

The Israeli tax benefits we currently receive require us to meet several conditions and may be terminated or reduced in the future, which would likely increase our taxes, possibly with a retroactive effect.

Some of our operations in Israel, referred to as “Benefited Enterprise” for 2018 and 2019 and “Preferred Technological Enterprise” commencing with 2020 (in case of taxable income position) carry certain tax benefits under the Law for the Encouragement of Capital Investments, 5719-1959, or the Investment Law. In order to be eligible for tax benefits under the Investment Law, our Benefited/Preferred Technological Enterprises must comply with various conditions set forth in the Investment Law, as well as periodic reporting obligations. If we do not meet the requirements for maintaining these benefits or if our assumptions regarding the key elements affecting our tax rates are rejected by the Israeli tax authorities, they may be reduced or canceled and the relevant operations would be subject to Israeli corporate tax at the standard rate, which is 23% in 2018 and thereafter.

In addition to being subject to the standard corporate tax rate, we could be required to refund any tax benefits we have already received, plus interest and penalties thereon under this program or similar programs we have utilized in the past. Even if we continue to meet the relevant requirements, the tax benefits our current “Benefited/Preferred Technological Enterprise” receive may not be continued in the future at their current levels or at all. If these tax benefits were reduced or eliminated, the amount of taxes we pay would likely increase, as all of our Israeli operations would consequently be subject to corporate tax at the standard rate, which could adversely affect our results of operations. Additionally, if we increase our activities outside of Israel, for example, by way of acquisitions, our increased activities may not be eligible for inclusion in Israeli tax benefit programs. If the Israeli government discontinues or modifies these programs and potential tax benefits, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.

Transfer pricing rules may adversely affect our corporate income tax expense.

Many of the jurisdictions in which we conduct business have detailed transfer pricing rules, which require contemporaneous documentation establishing that all transactions with non-resident related parties be priced using arm’s length pricing principles. The tax authorities in these jurisdictions could challenge our related party transfer pricing policies and as a consequence the tax treatment of corresponding expenses and income. International transfer pricing is an area of taxation that depends heavily on the underlying facts and circumstances and generally involves a significant degree of judgment. If any of these tax authorities were to be successful in challenging our transfer pricing policies, we may be liable for additional corporate income tax, and penalties and interest related thereto, which may have a significant impact on our results of operations and financial condition.

We may be exposed to liabilities under the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other U.S. and foreign anti-corruption, anti-money laundering, export control, sanctions and other trade laws and regulations, and any determination that we violated these laws could have a material adverse effect on our business.

We are subject to export control and import laws and regulations, including the U.S. Export Administration Regulations, U.S. Customs regulations and various economic and trade sanctions regulations administered by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. We are also subject to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, as amended, the U.S. domestic bribery statute contained in 18 U.S.C. § 201, the U.S. Travel Act, the USA PATRIOT Act, the United Kingdom Bribery Act 2010, the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, Chapter 9 (sub-chapter 5) of the Israeli Penal Law, 1977, the Israeli Prohibition on Money Laundering Law—2000 and possibly other anti-bribery and anti-money laundering laws in countries outside of the United States in which we conduct our activities. Compliance with these laws has been the subject of increasing focus and activity by regulatory authorities, both in the United States and elsewhere, in recent years. Anti-corruption laws are interpreted broadly and prohibit companies and their employees and third-party intermediaries from authorizing, promising, offering, providing, soliciting or accepting, directly or indirectly, improper payments or benefits to or from any person whether in the public or private sector. Although we endeavor to conduct our business in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, we cannot guarantee compliance.

Noncompliance with anti-corruption, anti-money laundering, export control, sanctions and other trade laws could subject us to whistleblower complaints, investigations, sanctions, settlements, prosecution, other enforcement actions, disgorgement of profits, significant fines, damages, other civil and criminal penalties or injunctions, suspension and/or debarment from contracting with certain persons, the loss of export privileges, reputational harm, adverse media coverage and other collateral consequences. If subpoenas or investigations are launched, or governmental or other sanctions are imposed, or if we do not prevail in any possible civil or criminal litigation, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be materially harmed. Responding to any action will likely result in a materially significant diversion of management’s attention and resources and significant defense and compliance costs and other professional fees. In addition, regulatory authorities may seek to hold us liable for successor liability for violations committed by companies in which we invest or that we acquire. As a general matter, enforcement actions and sanctions could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.

If we are a “passive foreign investment company” (PFIC) in the year of the offering or in any future year, a U.S. investor in our Ordinary Shares or Warrants may be subject to adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences.

Under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the Code), we will be classified as a PFIC for any taxable year in which, either (i) at least 75% of our gross income in a taxable year, including our pro rata share of the gross income of any corporation in which we are considered to own at least 25% of the shares by value, is passive income or (ii) at least 50% of our assets in a taxable year (ordinarily determined based on fair market value and averaged quarterly over the year), including our pro rata share of the assets of any corporation in which we are considered to own at least 25% of the shares by value, are held for the production of, or produce, passive income. Passive income generally includes, among other things, dividends, interest, rents and royalties (other than rents or royalties derived from the active conduct of a trade or business) and gains from the disposition of passive assets. The Company believes that it was not a PFIC for U.S. federal income tax purposes for its 2021 taxable year and it does not expect to become one in the foreseeable future. However, PFIC status is determined annually and depends on the composition of a company’s income and assets and the fair market value of its assets and no assurance can be given that we were not a PFIC in 2021, or as to whether we will be a PFIC in 2022 or for any future taxable years.

If we are a PFIC for any taxable year during which a U.S. investor holds our Ordinary Shares or Warrants, we would continue to be treated as a PFIC with respect to that U.S. investor for all succeeding years during which the U.S. investor holds our Ordinary Shares or Warrants, even if we ceased to meet the threshold requirements for PFIC status, unless certain exceptions apply. Such a U.S. investor may be subject to adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences, including (i) the treatment of all or a portion of any gain on the disposition of our Ordinary Shares or Warrants as ordinary income (and therefore ineligible for the preferential rates that apply to capital gains with respect to some U.S. investors), (ii) the application of a deferred interest charge on such gain and the receipt of certain dividends on our Ordinary Shares, (iii) the ineligibility to claim the preferential tax rate afforded to certain non-corporate U.S. investors on “qualified dividend income” with respect to dividends on our Ordinary Shares and (iv) compliance with certain reporting requirements.

For further discussion, see “U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—Tax Consequences to U.S. Holders of Ownership and Disposition of Our Ordinary Shares and Warrants.”

It may be difficult to enforce a U.S. judgment against Taboola or its respective directors and officers outside the United States, or to assert U.S. securities law claims outside of the United States.

A number of Taboola directors and executive officers are not residents of the United States, and the majority of Taboola’s assets and the assets of these persons are located outside the United States. As a result, it may be difficult or impossible for investors to effect service of process upon Taboola within the United States or other jurisdictions, including judgments predicated upon the civil liability provisions of the federal securities laws of the United States. Additionally, it may be difficult to assert U.S. securities law claims in actions originally instituted outside of the United States. Foreign courts may refuse to hear a U.S. securities law claim because foreign courts may not be the most appropriate forum in which to bring such a claim. Even if a foreign court agrees to hear a claim, it may determine that the law of the jurisdiction in which the foreign court resides, and not U.S. law, is applicable to the claim. Further, if U.S. law is found to be applicable, the content of applicable U.S. law must be proved as a fact, which can be a time-consuming and costly process, and certain matters of procedure would still be governed by the law of the jurisdiction in which the foreign court resides.

Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property and Technology

Our proprietary rights may be difficult to enforce, particularly because in many instances we rely on trade secrets rather than patents or similar registered legal protections. This could enable others to copy or use aspects of our platform without compensating us, which could erode our competitive advantages and harm our business.

Our success depends, in part, on our ability to protect proprietary methods and technologies that we develop under the intellectual property laws of Israel, the United States and other countries, so that we can prevent others from using our inventions and proprietary information. If we fail to protect our intellectual property rights adequately, our competitors might gain access to our technology, and our business could be adversely affected. We rely on trademark, copyright, trade secret and confidentiality procedures and contractual provisions to protect our proprietary methods and technologies. We have not received any patents covering our proprietary methods or technologies.

Unauthorized parties may attempt to copy aspects of our technology or obtain and use information we regard as proprietary. We generally enter into confidentiality and/or license agreements with our employees, consultants, vendors and advertisers, and generally limit access to and distribution of our proprietary information. However, any steps taken by us may not prevent misappropriation of our technology and proprietary information. Policing unauthorized use of our technology is difficult. In addition, the laws of some foreign countries may not be as protective of intellectual property rights as those of the United States, and mechanisms for enforcement of our proprietary rights in such countries may be inadequate. From time to time, legal action by us may be necessary to enforce our intellectual property rights, to protect our trade secrets, to determine the validity and scope of the proprietary rights of others, or to defend against claims of infringement. Although we rely on trade secret laws to protect our intellectual property, we may encounter difficulties enforcing our rights given the lack of patent protection. Such litigation could result in substantial costs and the diversion of limited resources and could negatively affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. If we are unable to protect our proprietary rights, including aspects of our technology platform, we may find ourselves at a competitive disadvantage to others who have not incurred the same level of expense, time and effort to create and protect their intellectual property.

We may be subject to intellectual property rights claims by third parties, which are extremely costly to defend, could require us to pay significant damages and could limit our ability to use certain technologies.

Third parties may assert claims of infringement of intellectual property rights in proprietary technology against us or against our digital properties or advertisers for which we may be held liable or have an indemnification obligation. Our risk of third-party claims may be increased to the extent we rely on unaffiliated persons or firms, over whom we have less control than we would have over our own employees, to develop code. Any claim of infringement by a third party, even those without merit, could cause us to incur substantial costs defending against the claim and could distract our management from operating our business.

Although third parties may offer a license to their technology, the terms of any offered license may not be acceptable and the failure to obtain a license or the costs associated with any license could cause our business, financial condition and results of operations to be materially and adversely affected. In addition, some licenses may be non-exclusive, and therefore our competitors may have access to the same technology licensed to us. Alternatively, we may be required to develop non-infringing technology, which could require significant effort and expense and ultimately may not be successful. Furthermore, a successful claimant could secure a judgment or we may agree to a settlement that prevents us from distributing certain products or performing certain services or that requires us to pay substantial damages, including treble damages if we are found to have willfully infringed such claimant’s patents or copyrights, royalties or other fees. Any of these events could seriously harm our business financial condition and results of operations.

Legal claims against us resulting from the actions of our advertisers or digital properties could damage our reputation and be costly to defend.

We receive representations from advertisers that the content we place on their behalf does not infringe on any third-party rights. We also rely on representations from our digital properties that they maintain adequate privacy policies that allow us to place pixels on their properties and collect data from users that visit those websites to aid in delivering our solutions. However, we do not independently verify whether we are permitted to deliver advertising to our digital properties’ Internet users or that the content we deliver is legally permitted. If any of our advertisers’ or digital properties’ representations are untrue and our advertisers or digital properties do not abide by foreign, federal, state or local laws or regulations governing their content or privacy practices, we could become subject to legal claims against us, we could be exposed to potential liability (for which we may or may not be indemnified by our advertisers or digital properties), and our reputation could be damaged. Even in those instances where our advertisers and digital properties do indemnify us, it is possible these entities may not be willing or able to cover the claims and we will be responsible for the cost of litigation or required to pay substantial damages.

Indemnity provisions in various agreements potentially expose us to substantial liability for intellectual property infringement and other losses.

Our agreements with digital properties, advertiser and other third parties may include indemnification provisions under which we agree to indemnify them for losses suffered or incurred as a result of claims of intellectual property infringement, damages caused by us to property or persons, or other liabilities relating to or arising from our products, services, or other contractual obligations. The term of these indemnity provisions generally survives termination or expiration of the applicable agreement. Large indemnity payments would harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our solution relies on third-party open-source software components, and failure to comply with the terms of the underlying open-source software licenses could restrict our ability to sell our platform.

Our platform, including our computational infrastructure, relies on software licensed to us by third-party authors under “open-source” licenses. The use of open-source software may entail greater risks than the use of third-party commercial software, as open-source licensors generally do not provide warranties or other contractual protections regarding infringement claims or the quality of the code. Some open-source licenses contain requirements that we make available source code for modifications or derivative works we create based upon the type of open-source software we use. If we combine our proprietary software with open-source software in a certain manner, we could, under certain open-source licenses, be required to release the source code of our proprietary software to the public. This would allow our competitors to create similar solutions with less development effort and time and ultimately put us at a competitive disadvantage.

Although we monitor our use of open-source software to avoid subjecting our products to conditions we do not intend, the terms of many open-source licenses have not been interpreted by United States courts, and there is a risk that these licenses could be construed in a way that could impose unanticipated conditions or restrictions on our ability to commercialize our services. Moreover, we cannot guarantee our processes for controlling our use of open-source software will be effective. If we are held to have breached the terms of an open-source software license, we could be required to seek licenses from third parties to continue operating our platform on terms that are not economically feasible, to re-engineer our platform or the supporting computational infrastructure to discontinue use of certain code, or to make generally available, in source code form, portions of our proprietary code, any of which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We face risks related to cybersecurity breaches, attacks or threats, or other outages or disruptions of our services, including scheduled or unscheduled downtime, which could harm our brand and reputation and negatively impact our revenue and results of operations.

As we grow our business, we expect to continue to invest in technology services, hardware and software, including data centers, network services, storage and database technologies. Creating the appropriate support for our technology platform, including large-scale serving infrastructure and big data transmission, storage and computation infrastructure, is expensive and complex, and our execution can result in inefficiencies or operational failures and increased vulnerability to cyber-attacks or breaches, which, in turn, could diminish the quality of our services and our performance for our digital properties and our advertisers. Cyber-attacks or breaches could include denial-of-service attacks impacting service availability (including the ability to deliver ads) and reliability; the exploitation of software vulnerabilities in Internet facing applications; phishing attacks or social engineering of system administrators (tricking company employees into releasing control of their systems to a hacker); or the introduction of computer viruses, ransomware or malware into our systems with a view to steal confidential or proprietary data. In December 2021, a vulnerability named “Log4Shell” was reported for the widely used Java logging library, Apache Log4j 2. We have reviewed the use of this library within our software product portfolio and in our IT environment and determined that an unknown entity exploited this vulnerability. We have taken steps to mitigate the vulnerability. To date, this and other cybersecurity incidents have not resulted in a material adverse impact to our business or operations, but there can be no guarantee we will not experience such an impact in the future due to this incident or other incidents. Cyber-attacks of increasing sophistication may be difficult to detect and could result in the theft of our intellectual property and our data or our digital properties’ or advertisers’ data, including our or our digital properties’ or advertisers’ personal data. In addition, we are vulnerable to unintentional errors as well as malicious actions by persons with authorized access to our systems that exceed the scope of their access rights, or unintentionally or intentionally alter parameters or otherwise interfere with the intended operations of our platform.

A hack into our system or a technology glitch may cause a catastrophic effect where a large number of digital properties will stop using our service in a short period of time. While we take measures to protect the security of the systems and information used in the operation of our business, and to implement certain privacy protections with respect to such information, such measures may not always be effective. The steps we take to increase the reliability, integrity and security of our systems as they scale may be expensive and may not prevent system failures, unintended vulnerabilities or other cybersecurity incidents, including those resulting from the increasing number of persons with access to our systems, complex interactions within our technology platform and the increasing number of connections with third party partners and vendors’ technology. Furthermore, because the methods of cyber-attack and deception change frequently, are increasingly complex and sophisticated, and can originate from a wide variety of sources, including nation-state actors, despite our reasonable efforts to ensure the integrity of our systems, we may not be able to anticipate, detect, appropriately react and respond to, or implement effective preventative measures against, all cybersecurity incidents. Additionally, due to the recent Russia-Ukraine conflict, there have been publicized threats to increase cyber-attack activity against the critical infrastructure of any nation or organization that retaliates against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. Any such increase in such attacks on our third-party service providers or other systems could adversely affect our network systems or other operations. In addition to our own systems, we use third-party vendors to store, transmit and otherwise process certain of our confidential or proprietary data on our behalf. Due to applicable laws and regulations or contractual obligations, we may be held responsible for any cybersecurity incident attributed to our service providers as they relate to the information we share with them. Although we contractually require these service providers to implement and use reasonable security measures, we cannot control third parties and cannot guarantee a security breach will not occur in their systems.

We may be required to expend significant capital and other resources to protect against, respond to, and recover from any potential, attempted, or existing cybersecurity incidents. As cybersecurity incidents continue to evolve, we may be required to expend significant additional resources to continue to modify or enhance our protective measures or to investigate and remediate any information security vulnerabilities. In addition, our remediation efforts may not be successful. The inability to implement, maintain and upgrade adequate safeguards could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flow. Operational errors or failures or successful cyber-attacks, media reports about such an incident, whether accurate or not, or our failure to make adequate or timely disclosures to the public or law enforcement agencies following any such event, whether due to delayed discovery or a failure to follow existing protocols, could result in damage to our reputation, loss of current and new digital properties or advertisers and other partners and clients, the disclosure of personal, confidential, sensitive or proprietary data, interruptions to our operations and distraction to our management, and significant legal, regulatory and financial liabilities and lost revenues, which could harm our business.

While we currently maintain cybersecurity insurance, such insurance may not be sufficient in type or amount to cover us against claims related to breaches, failures or other cybersecurity-related incidents, and we cannot be certain that cyber insurance will continue to be available to us on economically reasonable terms, or at all, or that any insurer will not deny coverage as to any future claim. The successful assertion of one or more large claims against us that exceed available insurance coverage, or the occurrence of changes in our insurance policies, including premium increases or the imposition of large deductible or co-insurance requirements, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.

Defects, errors or failures in our technology platform, including our software and systems, could adversely affect our business, operating results and growth prospects.

We depend upon the sustained and uninterrupted performance of our technology platform to operate fundamental aspects of our business. If our technology platform cannot scale to meet demand, or if there are defects or errors in our execution of any of these functions on our platform, then our business could be harmed. Our software and systems are complex and may contain defects or errors, or may experience failures when implemented or when new functionality is released, as we may modify, enhance, upgrade and implement new software, systems, procedures and controls to reflect changes in our business, technological advancements and changing industry trends. Undetected errors and failures may occur, especially when new versions or updates are made. Despite testing by us, errors or bugs in our software have in the past, and may in the future, not be found until the software is in our live operating environment. Any defects, errors, failures or other similar performance problems or disruptions in our software or systems could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. Defects, errors, failures or other similar performance problems or disruptions, whether in connection with day-to-day operations or otherwise, could damage our clients’ businesses and result in negative publicity, damage to our brand and reputation, loss of or delay in market acceptance of our solutions, increased costs or loss of revenue, loss of competitive position or claims by advertisers for losses sustained by them. In such an event, we may be required or choose to expend additional resources to help mitigate any problems resulting from defects, errors or failures in our software or systems. Alleviating problems resulting from defects, errors or failures in our software or systems could require significant expenditures of capital and other resources and could cause interruptions, delays or the cessation of our business, any of which would adversely impact our financial position, results of operations and growth prospects. In addition, if we experience any defects, errors, failures or other performance problems, our partners could seek to terminate or elect not to renew their contracts, delay or withhold payment or make claims against us. Any of these actions could result in liability, lost business, increased insurance costs, difficulty in collecting accounts receivable, costly litigation or adverse publicity, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. Additionally, our software utilizes open-source software and any defects or errors in such open-source software could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We rely on third-party service providers for many aspects of our business, and any disruption of service experienced by such third-party service providers or our failure to manage and maintain existing relationships or identify other high-quality, third-party service providers could harm our business, results of operations and growth prospects.

We rely on a variety of third-party service providers in connection with the operation of our solutions. Any performance issues, errors, bugs or defects in third-party software or services could result in errors, defects or a failure of our solutions, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. Many of our third-party service providers attempt to impose limitations on their liability for such performance issues, errors, bugs or defects, and if enforceable, we may have additional liability to our clients or to other third parties that could harm our reputation and increase our operating costs. Additionally, in the future, we might need to license other software or services to enhance our solutions and meet evolving client demands and requirements, which may not be available to us on commercially reasonable terms or at all. Any limitations in our ability to use or obtain third-party software or services could significantly increase our expenses and otherwise result in delays, a reduction in functionality or errors or failures of our solutions until equivalent technology or content is either developed by us or, if available, identified, obtained through purchase or licensed and integrated into our solutions, which could adversely affect our business. In addition, third-party software and services may expose us to increased risks, including risks associated with the integration of new technology, the diversion of resources from the development of our own proprietary technology and our inability to generate revenue from new technology sufficient to offset associated acquisition and maintenance costs, all of which may increase our expenses and materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. We will need to maintain our relationships with third-party service providers and obtain software and services from such providers that do not contain any errors or defects. Any failure to do so could adversely affect our ability to deliver effective solutions to our clients and adversely affect our business.

Risks Related to Being a Public Company

Our management team has limited experience managing a public company.

Most members of our management team have limited experience managing a publicly traded company, interacting with public company investors, and complying with the increasingly complex laws, rules and regulations that govern public companies. As a public company, we are subject to significant obligations relating to reporting, procedures and internal controls, and our management team may not successfully or efficiently manage such obligations. These obligations and scrutiny will require significant attention from our management and could divert their attention away from the day-to-day management of our business, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

It is possible that our internal control over financial reporting is not effective because it cannot detect or prevent material errors at a reasonable level of assurance. Our past or future financial statements may not be accurate and we may not be able to timely report our financial condition or results of operations, which may adversely affect investor confidence in us and the price of our Ordinary Shares.

As a public company, we have significant requirements for enhanced financial reporting and internal controls. The process of designing, implementing, testing and maintaining effective internal controls is a continuous effort that requires us to anticipate and react to changes in our business and the economic and regulatory environments. In this regard, we will need to continue to dedicate internal resources, potentially engage outside consultants, adopt a detailed work plan to assess and document the adequacy of internal control over financial reporting, continue steps to improve control processes as appropriate, validate through testing whether such controls are functioning as documented, and implement a continuous reporting and improvement process for internal control over financial reporting.

It is possible that our internal control over financial reporting is not effective because it cannot detect or prevent material errors at a reasonable level of assurance. If we are unable to establish or maintain appropriate internal financial reporting controls and procedures, it could cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations on a timely basis, result in material misstatements in our consolidated financial statements and adversely affect our operating results. In addition, we will be required, pursuant to Section 404, to furnish a report by our management on, among other things, the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting in the second annual report filed with the SEC. This assessment will need to include disclosure of any material weaknesses identified by our management in our internal control over financial reporting. The rules governing the standards that must be met for our management to assess our internal control over financial reporting are complex and require significant documentation and testing. Testing and maintaining internal controls may divert our management’s attention from other matters that are important to our business. In addition, pursuant to Section 404, we will be required to include in the annual reports that we file with the SEC an attestation report on our internal control over financial reporting issued by our independent registered public accounting firm.

Furthermore, we may, during the course of our testing of our internal controls either in preparation for our initial management’s report on internal control over financial reporting to be provided in 2023 in respect to our assessment of internal controls over the financial reporting as of December 31, 2022, or preparation of similar reports to be provided in subsequent years, or during the related testing by our independent registered public accounting firm, identify deficiencies which would have to be remediated to satisfy the SEC rules for certification of our internal controls over financial reporting. As a consequence, we may have to disclose in periodic reports we file with the SEC significant deficiencies or material weaknesses in our system of internal controls. The existence of a material weakness would preclude management from concluding that our internal controls over financial reporting are effective, and would preclude our independent auditors from issuing an unqualified opinion that our internal controls over financial reporting are effective. In addition, disclosures of this type in our SEC reports could cause investors to lose confidence in the accuracy and completeness of our financial reporting and may negatively affect the trading price of our Ordinary Shares, and we could be subject to sanctions or investigations by regulatory authorities. Moreover, effective internal controls are necessary to produce reliable financial reports and to prevent fraud. If we have deficiencies in our disclosure controls and procedures or internal controls over financial reporting, it could negatively impact our business, results of operations and reputation.

We are a foreign private issuer and, as a result, we are not subject to U.S. proxy rules and are subject to Exchange Act reporting obligations that, to some extent, are more lenient and less frequent than those of a U.S. domestic public company.

Because we qualify as a foreign private issuer under the Exchange Act, we are exempt from certain provisions of the Exchange Act that are applicable to U.S. domestic public companies, including (1) the sections of the Exchange Act regulating the solicitation of proxies, consents or authorizations in respect of a security registered under the Exchange Act, (2) the sections of the Exchange Act requiring insiders to file public reports of their share ownership and trading activities and liability for insiders who profit from trades made in a short period of time and (3) the rules under the Exchange Act requiring the filing with the SEC of quarterly reports on Form 10-Q containing unaudited financial and other specified information, although we are subject to Israeli laws and regulations with regard to certain of these matters and intend to furnish comparable quarterly information on Form 6-K. In addition, foreign private issuers are not required to file their annual report on Form 20-F until 120 days after the end of each fiscal year, while U.S. domestic issuers that are accelerated filers are required to file their annual report on Form 10-K within 75 days after the end of each fiscal year and U.S. domestic issuers that are large accelerated filers are required to file their annual report on Form 10-K within 60 days after the end of each fiscal year. Foreign private issuers are also exempt from Regulation FD, which is intended to prevent issuers from making selective disclosures of material information. As a result of all of the above, you may not have the same protections afforded to shareholders of a company that is not a foreign private issuer.

We may lose our foreign private issuer status in the future, which could result in significant additional costs and expenses.

As discussed above, we are a foreign private issuer, and therefore, we are not required to comply with all of the periodic disclosure and current reporting requirements of the Exchange Act. The determination of foreign private issuer status is made annually on the last business day of an issuer’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, and, accordingly, the next determination will be made with respect to us on June 30, 2022. In the future, we would lose our foreign private issuer status if (1) more than 50% of our outstanding voting securities are owned by U.S. residents and (2) a majority of our directors or executive officers are U.S. citizens or residents, or we fail to meet additional requirements necessary to avoid loss of foreign private issuer status. If we lose our foreign private issuer status, we will be required to file with the SEC periodic reports and registration statements on U.S. domestic issuer forms, which are more detailed and extensive than the forms available to a foreign private issuer. We will also have to mandatorily comply with U.S. federal proxy requirements, and our officers, directors and principal shareholders will become subject to the short-swing profit disclosure and recovery provisions of Section 16 of the Exchange Act. In addition, we will lose our ability to rely upon exemptions from certain corporate governance requirements under the listing rules of Nasdaq. As a U.S. listed public company that is not a foreign private issuer, we will incur significant additional legal, accounting and other expenses that we will not incur as a foreign private issuer.

As we are a “foreign private issuer” and follow certain home country corporate governance practices, our shareholders may not have the same protections afforded to shareholders of companies that are subject to all Nasdaq corporate governance requirements.

As a foreign private issuer, we have the option to follow certain home country corporate governance practices rather than those of Nasdaq, provided that we disclose the requirements we are not following and describe the home country practices we are following. We rely on this “foreign private issuer exemption” with respect to Nasdaq rules for shareholder meetings quorums and rules requiring shareholder approval. We may in the future elect to follow home country practices with regard to other matters. As a result, our shareholders may not have the same protections afforded to shareholders of companies that are subject to all Nasdaq corporate governance requirements.

We incur increased costs as a result of operating as a public company, and our management is required to devote substantial time to new compliance initiatives and corporate governance practices.

As a public company, we will incur significant legal, accounting and other expenses that we did not incur as a private company. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the listing requirements of Nasdaq and other applicable securities rules and regulations impose various requirements on public companies, including establishment and maintenance of effective disclosure and financial controls and corporate governance practices. Our management and other personnel continue to devote a substantial amount of time to these compliance initiatives. Moreover, these rules and regulations will continue to increase our legal and financial compliance costs and will make some activities more time-consuming and costly. For example, we expect that these rules and regulations may make it more difficult and more expensive for us to obtain director and officer liability insurance, and could also make it more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified members of our board of directors.

We continue to evaluate these rules and regulations and cannot predict or estimate the amount of additional costs we may incur or the timing of such costs. These rules and regulations are often subject to varying interpretations, in many cases due to their lack of specificity, and, as a result, their application in practice may evolve over time as new guidance is provided by regulatory and governing bodies. This could result in continuing uncertainty regarding compliance matters and higher costs necessitated by ongoing revisions to disclosure and governance practices.

We are required to comply with the SEC’s rules implementing Sections 302 and 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which requires management to certify financial and other information in our annual reports and provide an annual management report on the effectiveness of control over financial reporting. Though we are required to disclose material changes in internal control over financial reporting on an annual basis, we will not be required to make our first annual assessment of our internal control over financial reporting pursuant to Section 404 until the year following our first annual report required to be filed with the SEC. To achieve compliance with Section 404 within the prescribed period, we are engaged in a process to document and evaluate our internal control over financial reporting, which is both costly and challenging. In this regard, we will need to continue to dedicate internal resources, potentially engage outside consultants and adopt a detailed work plan to assess and document the adequacy of internal control over financial reporting, continue steps to improve control processes as appropriate, validate through testing that controls are functioning as documented and implement a continuous reporting and improvement process for internal control over financial reporting.

We currently have limited accounting personnel and we have begun the process of evaluating the adequacy of our accounting personnel staffing level and other matters related to our internal control over financial reporting. Despite our efforts, there is a risk that we will not be able to conclude, within the prescribed timeframe or at all, that our internal control over financial reporting is effective as required by Section 404. If we identify one or more material weaknesses, it could result in an adverse reaction in the financial markets due to a loss of confidence in the reliability of our financial statements. As a result, the market price of our Ordinary Shares could be negatively affected, and we could become subject to litigation including shareholder suits or investigations by the stock exchange on which our securities are listed, the SEC or other regulatory authorities, which could require additional financial and management resources.

Risks Related to Our Ordinary Shares

Our share price may be volatile, and you may lose all or part of your investment.

The market price of our Ordinary Shares could be highly volatile and may fluctuate substantially as a result of many factors, including:
 

actual or anticipated fluctuations in our results of operations;
 

variance in our financial performance from the expectations of market analysts or others;
 

announcements by us or our competitors of significant business developments, changes in significant customers, acquisitions or expansion plans;
 

our involvement in litigation;
 

our sale of Ordinary Shares or other securities in the future;
 

market conditions in our industry;
 

changes in key personnel;


the trading volume of our Ordinary Shares;
 

changes in the estimation of the future size and growth rate of our markets; and
 

general economic and market conditions.

In addition, the stock markets have experienced extreme price and volume fluctuations. Broad market and industry factors may materially harm the market price of our Ordinary Shares, regardless of our operating performance. In the past, following periods of volatility in the market price of a company’s securities, securities class action litigation has often been instituted against that company. If we were involved in any similar litigation we could incur substantial costs and our management’s attention and resources could be diverted.

An active trading market for our Ordinary Shares may not be sustained to provide adequate liquidity.

An active trading market may not be sustained for our Ordinary Shares. The lack of an active market may impair your ability to sell your shares at the time you wish to sell them or at a price that you consider reasonable. An inactive market may also impair our ability to raise capital by selling Ordinary Shares and may impair our ability to acquire other companies by using our shares as consideration.

The market price of our Ordinary Shares could be negatively affected by future issuances or sales of our Ordinary Shares.

As of December 31, 2021, we have 234,031,749 Ordinary Shares outstanding. Sales by us or our shareholders of a substantial number of Ordinary Shares, the issuance of Ordinary Shares as consideration for acquisitions, or the perception that these sales might occur, could cause the market price of our Ordinary Shares to decline or could impair our ability to raise capital through a future sale of, or pay for acquisitions using, our equity securities.

As of December 31, 2021, we had 27,584,474 shares available for future grant under our share option plans, 12,349,990 Warrants to purchase Ordinary Shares and 125,220,553 Ordinary Shares that were subject to share options and restricted share units. Of this amount, 35,411,247 are vested and/or exercisable.

If any of our large shareholders or members of our management were to sell substantial amounts of our Ordinary Shares and/or Warrants in the public markets, or the market perceives that such sales may occur, this could have the effect of increasing the volatility in, and put significant downward pressure on, the trading price of our Ordinary Shares and/or Warrants. Any such volatility or decrease in the trading price of our Ordinary Shares and/or Warrants could also adversely affect our ability to raise capital through an issue of equity securities in the future.

We do not expect to pay any dividends in the foreseeable future.

We have never declared or paid any dividends on our Ordinary Shares. We do not anticipate paying any dividends in the foreseeable future. We currently intend to retain future earnings, if any, to finance operations and expand our business.

Our board of directors has sole discretion over whether to pay dividends. If our board of directors decides to pay dividends, the form, frequency and amount will depend upon our future operations and earnings, capital requirements and surplus, general financial condition, contractual restrictions and other factors that our directors may deem relevant. In addition, the Israeli Companies Law, 5759-1999, or Companies Law, imposes restrictions on our ability to declare and pay dividends. Payment of dividends may also be subject to Israeli withholding taxes.

If securities or industry analysts do not publish research or reports about our business, or if they issue an adverse or misleading opinion regarding our stock, our stock price and trading volume could decline.

The trading market for our Ordinary Shares is and will be influenced by the research and reports that industry or securities analysts publish about us or our business. If no or few securities or industry analysts commence coverage of us, the trading price for our Ordinary Shares would be negatively impacted. In the event we obtain securities or industry analyst coverage, if any of the analysts who cover us issue an adverse or misleading opinion regarding us, our business model, our intellectual property or our stock performance, or if our results of operations fail to meet the expectations of analysts, our stock price would likely decline. If one or more of these analysts cease coverage of us or fail to publish reports on us regularly, we could lose visibility in the financial markets, which in turn could cause our stock price or trading volume to decline.


We may issue additional Ordinary Shares or other equity securities without your approval, which would dilute your ownership interests and may depress the market price of our Ordinary Shares.

We may issue additional Ordinary Shares or other equity securities in the future in connection with, among other things, future capital raising and transactions and future acquisitions, without your approval in many circumstances. Such issuance of additional Ordinary Shares or other equity securities would have the following effects:
 

Our existing shareholders’ proportionate ownership interest in Taboola may decrease;
 

the amount of cash available per share, including for payment of dividends in the future, may decrease;


the relative voting strength of each previously outstanding ordinary share may be diminished; and


the trading price of our Ordinary Shares may decline.

Risks Related to the Warrants

We may redeem your unexpired Warrants prior to their exercise at a time that is disadvantageous to you, thereby making your Warrants worth less.

Under the terms of the public Warrants, we may exercise the redemption right even if we are unable to register or qualify the underlying securities for sale under all applicable state securities laws. Redemption of the outstanding Warrants could force holders (i) to exercise the Warrants and pay the exercise price therefor at a time when it may be disadvantageous to do so, (ii) to sell the Warrants at the then-current market price when the holder might otherwise wish to hold its Warrants or (iii) to accept the nominal redemption price which, at the time the outstanding Warrants are called for redemption, is likely to be substantially less than the market value of the Warrants. The Warrants exchanged for ION warrants that were issued in a private placement, as part of the Business Combination, are not expected to be redeemable by Taboola so long as they are held by the Sponsors or their permitted transferees.

There can be no assurance that our Warrants received by holders of ION warrants in the Business Combination will be in the money at the time they become exercisable or otherwise, and they may expire worthless.

The exercise price of our Warrants issued in exchange for the outstanding ION warrants is $11.50 per ordinary share. There can be no assurance that our Warrants will be in the money following the time they become exercisable and prior to their expiration, and as such, the Warrants may expire worthless.

Risks Relating to Our Incorporation and Location in Israel

Conditions in Israel could adversely affect our business.

We are incorporated under the laws of the State of Israel, and our principal research and development facilities, including our major data centers, are located in Israel. Accordingly, political, economic and military conditions in Israel directly affect our business. Since the State of Israel was established in 1948, a number of armed conflicts have occurred between Israel and its Arab neighbors. In the event that our facilities are damaged as a result of hostile action or hostilities otherwise disrupt the ongoing operation of its facilities, our ability to deliver products to advertisers could be materially adversely affected.

Further, in the past, the State of Israel and Israeli companies have been subjected to economic boycotts. Several countries, principally in the Middle East, still restrict doing business with Israel and Israeli companies, and additional countries may impose restrictions on doing business with Israel and Israeli companies if hostilities in Israel or political instability in the region continues or increases. Any hostilities involving Israel or the interruption or curtailment of trade between Israel and its present trading partners, or significant downturn in the economic or financial condition of Israel, could adversely affect our operations and product development, and could cause our sales to decrease.

In addition, many Israeli citizens are obligated to perform several days, and in some cases more, of annual military reserve duty each year until they reach the age of 40 (or older, for reservists who are military officers or who have certain occupations) and, in the event of a military conflict, may be called to active duty. In response to increases in terrorist activity, there have been periods of significant call-ups of military reservists. It is possible that there will be military reserve duty call-ups in the future. Our operations could be disrupted by such call-ups, particularly if such call-ups include the call-up of members of our management. Such disruption could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Competition for highly skilled technical and other personnel in Israel is intense, and as a result we may fail to attract, recruit, retain and develop qualified employees, which could materially and adversely impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We compete in a market marked by rapidly changing technologies and an evolving competitive landscape. In order for us to successfully compete and grow, we must attract, recruit, retain and develop personnel with requisite qualifications to provide expertise across the entire spectrum of our intellectual capital and business needs.

Our principal research and development as well as significant elements of our general and administrative activities are conducted in Israel, and we face significant competition for suitably skilled employees in Israel. While there has been intense competition for qualified human resources in the Israeli high-tech industry historically, the industry experienced record growth and activity in 2021, both at the earlier stages of venture capital and growth equity financings, and at the exit stage of initial public offerings and mergers and acquisitions. This flurry of growth and activity has caused a sharp increase in job openings in both Israeli high-tech companies and Israeli research and development centers of foreign companies, and intensification of competition between these employers to attract qualified employees in Israel. As a result, the high-tech industry in Israel, which includes us, has experienced significant levels of employee attrition and is currently facing a severe shortage of skilled human capital, including engineering, research and development, sales and customer support personnel. Many of the companies with which we compete for qualified personnel have greater resources than we do, and we may not succeed in recruiting additional experienced or professional personnel, retaining personnel or effectively replacing current personnel who may depart with qualified or effective successors.

In addition, as a result of the intense competition for qualified human resources, the Israeli high-tech market has also experienced and may continue to experience significant wage inflation. Accordingly, our efforts to attract, retain and develop personnel may also result in significant additional expenses, which could adversely affect our profitability. Furthermore, in making employment decisions, particularly in the high-technology industry, job candidates often consider the value of the equity they are to receive in connection with their employment. Employees may be more likely to leave us if the shares they own or the shares underlying their equity incentive awards have significantly appreciated or significantly decreased in value. Many of our employees may receive significant proceeds from sales of our equity in the public markets, which may reduce their motivation to continue to work for us and could heighten the risk of employee attrition.

While we utilize non-competition agreements with our employees as a means of improving our employee retention, those agreements may not be effective towards that goal. These agreements prohibit our employees, if they cease working for us, from competing directly with us or working for our competitors for a limited period. We may be unable to enforce these agreements under Israeli law, and it may be difficult for us to restrict our competitors from benefiting from the expertise our former employees developed while working for us.

In light of the foregoing, there can be no assurance that qualified employees will remain in our employ or that we will be able to attract and retain qualified personnel in the future. Failure to retain or attract qualified personnel could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.



Investors’ rights and responsibilities as our shareholders will be governed by Israeli law, which may differ in some respects from the rights and responsibilities of shareholders of non-Israeli companies.

We were incorporated under Israeli law and the rights and responsibilities of our shareholders are governed by our articles of association and Israeli law. These rights and responsibilities differ in some respects from the rights and responsibilities of shareholders of U.S. and other non-Israeli corporations. In particular, a shareholder of an Israeli company has a duty to act in good faith and in a customary manner in exercising its rights and performing its obligations towards the company and other shareholders and to refrain from abusing its power in the company, including, among other things, in voting at the general meeting of shareholders on certain matters, such as an amendment to the company’s articles of association, an increase of the company’s authorized share capital, a merger of the company and approval of related party transactions that require shareholder approval. A shareholder also has a general duty to refrain from discriminating against other shareholders. In addition, a controlling shareholder or a shareholder who knows that it possesses the power to determine the outcome of a shareholders’ vote or to appoint or prevent the appointment of an office holder in the company has a duty to act in fairness towards the company. These provisions may be interpreted to impose additional obligations and liabilities on our shareholders that are not typically imposed on shareholders of U.S. corporations.

Provisions of Israeli law and our amended and restated articles of association may delay, prevent or make undesirable an acquisition of all or a significant portion of our shares or assets.

Provisions of Israeli law and our amended and restated articles of association could have the effect of delaying or preventing a change in control and may make it more difficult for a third-party to acquire us or our shareholders to elect different individuals to our board of directors, even if doing so would be considered to be beneficial by some of our shareholders, and may limit the price that investors may be willing to pay in the future for our Ordinary Shares. Among other things:


Israeli corporate law regulates mergers and requires that a tender offer be effected when more than a specified percentage of shares in a company are purchased;


Israeli corporate law requires special approvals for certain transactions involving directors, officers or significant shareholders and regulates other matters that may be relevant to these types of transactions;


Israeli corporate law does not provide for shareholder action by written consent for public companies, thereby requiring all shareholder actions to be taken at a general meeting of shareholders;


our amended and restated articles of association divide our directors into three classes, each of which is elected once every three years;


our amended and restated articles of association generally require a vote of the holders of a majority of our outstanding Ordinary Shares entitled to vote present and voting on the matter at a general meeting of shareholders (referred to as simple majority), and the amendment of a limited number of provisions, such as the provision empowering our board of directors to determine the size of the board, the provision dividing our directors into three classes, the provision that sets forth the procedures and the requirements that must be met in order for a shareholder to require the Company to include a matter on the agenda for a general meeting of the shareholders and the provisions relating to the election and removal of members of our board of directors and empowering our board of directors to fill vacancies on the board, require a vote of the holders of 65% of our outstanding Ordinary Shares entitled to vote at a general meeting;


our amended and restated articles of association do not permit a director to be removed except by a vote of the holders of at least 65% of our outstanding shares entitled to vote at a general meeting of shareholders; and
 

our amended and restated articles of association provide that director vacancies may be filled by our board of directors.

Further, Israeli tax considerations may make potential transactions undesirable to us or some of our shareholders whose country of residence does not have a tax treaty with Israel granting tax relief to such shareholders from Israeli tax. For example, Israeli tax law does not recognize tax-free share exchanges to the same extent as U.S. tax law. With respect to mergers, Israeli tax law allows for tax deferral in certain circumstances but makes the deferral contingent on the fulfillment of numerous conditions, including, a holding period of two years from the date of the transaction during which certain sales and dispositions of shares of the participating companies are restricted. Moreover, with respect to certain share swap transactions, the tax deferral is limited in time, and when such time expires, the tax becomes payable even if no disposition of the shares has occurred.

Our amended and restated articles of association provide that unless we consent otherwise, the competent courts of Tel Aviv, Israel shall be the sole and exclusive forum for substantially all disputes between Taboola and its shareholders under the Companies Law and the Israeli Securities Law, which could limit its shareholders ability to brings claims and proceedings against, as well as obtain favorable judicial forum for disputes with Taboola, its directors, officers and other employees.

Unless we agree otherwise, the competent courts of Tel Aviv, Israel shall be the exclusive forum for (i) any derivative action or proceeding brought on behalf of Taboola, (ii) any action asserting a claim of breach of fiduciary duty owed by any our director, officer or other employee to Taboola or our shareholders, or (iii) any action asserting a claim arising pursuant to any provision of the Companies Law or the Israeli Securities Law, 1968, or Israeli Securities Law. Such exclusive forum provision in our amended and restated articles of association will not relieve Taboola of its duties to comply with federal securities laws and the rules and regulations thereunder, and our shareholders will not be deemed to have waived Taboola’s compliance with these laws, rules and regulations. This exclusive forum provision may limit a shareholders’ ability to bring a claim in a judicial forum of its choosing for disputes with Taboola or its directors or other employees which may discourage lawsuits against Taboola, its directors, officers and employees. The foregoing exclusive forum provision is intended to apply to claims arising under Israeli Law and would not apply to claims for which the federal courts of the United States would have exclusive jurisdiction, whether by law or pursuant to our amended and restated articles of association, including claims under the Securities Act for which there is a separate exclusive forum provision in our amended and restated articles of association.

General Risks

Fluctuations in the exchange rates of foreign currencies could result in currency transaction losses that negatively impact our financial results.

We currently have sales denominated in currencies other than the US dollar. In addition, we incur a portion of our operating expenses in Brazilian Reals, British pounds, Euro, Israeli shekels, Turkish lira, Japanese Yen and Thai baht, among others. Any fluctuation in the exchange rates of these foreign currencies could negatively impact our business, financial condition and results of operations. Subsequent to December 31, 2021, we instituted a foreign currency cash flow hedging program to address possible exposure arising from expected expenses to be paid in NIS. We hedged a portion of our anticipated NIS denominated payroll of Israeli employees for a period of one to twelve months with forward contracts and other derivative instruments. In the future we may pursue additional currency hedging, and may modify or terminate those arrangements from time to time. We intend to enter into these transactions only to hedge underlying risk reasonably related to our business and not for speculative purposes. There can be no assurance that any such activities will be effective or beneficial to us in whole or in part for several reasons including lack of experience, costs or illiquid markets. In addition, it is difficult to predict the effect hedging activities would have on our results of operations, and hedging activities can themselves result in losses.

In periods of economic uncertainty, businesses may delay or reduce their spending on advertising, we are exposed to the credit risk of some of our clients and customers as well as increased cost of operation in Israel, any of which could materially harm our business.
 

Inflation, which increased significantly during 2021, has adversely affected us by increasing the costs of equipment and labor needed to operate our business and could continue to adversely affect us in future periods. Unstable inflation conditions make it difficult for us and our clients to accurately forecast and plan future business activities, and could cause our clients to reduce or delay their advertising spending with us. Historically, economic downturns, including conditions such as inflation, recessions, or other changes in economic conditions have resulted in overall reductions in advertising spending, and businesses may curtail spending both on advertising in general and on solutions such as ours. We cannot predict the timing, strength or duration of any economic slowdown or recovery. Any macroeconomic deterioration in the future could impair our revenue and results of operations.

Our exposure to credit risks relating to our financing activities may increase if our customers are adversely affected by periods of economic uncertainty, including inflation, recession, pandemic, or other changes in economic conditions, or a global economic downturn. These may significantly impact our operating results and financial condition

Historically, credit losses with respect to accounts receivable have generally not been significant. However, we do not require collateral from advertisers and our normal practice is to allow a period of time before an advertiser is required to pay us for our services. In addition, although we may seek to reduce the credit exposures of our accounts receivable by setting credit limits and obtaining credit insurance for certain customers, there can be no assurance that any of our efforts to mitigate credit risks will be successful.

Economic downturns and political and market conditions beyond our control could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our business depends on the overall demand for advertising and on the economic health of our current and prospective advertisers. Economic downturns or instability in political or market conditions may cause current or new advertisers to reduce their advertising budgets. Adverse economic conditions and general uncertainty about economic recovery are likely to affect our business prospects. This could expose us to increased credit risk on advertiser insertion orders, which, in turn, could negatively impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.

In addition, continued geopolitical turmoil in many parts of the world have, and may continue to, put pressure on global economic conditions, which could lead to reduced spending on advertising. The February 2022 invasion of Ukraine by the Russian military has significantly amplified existing geopolitical tensions among Russia, Ukraine, Europe, the West and China. We cannot predict how the war in Ukraine will evolve, but any escalation or expansion of the conflict into other countries, particularly in Europe, would exacerbate geopolitical tensions and could lead to political and/or economic response from the U.S., the E.U. and other countries, which may adversely impact economic conditions. In particular, Russia’s military incursion and the resulting sanctions have and could continue to adversely affect global energy and financial markets and thus could adversely impact our operations and the price of our Ordinary Shares. The extent and duration of the military action, the response thereto, including resulting sanctions, and resulting future market disruptions, are impossible to predict, but could be significant. Additionally, any such disruptions, resulting sanctions or other actions (including cyberattacks) may magnify the impact of other risk factors discussed in this Annual Report.

We may require additional capital to support growth, and such capital might not be available on terms acceptable to us, if at all. This could hamper our growth and adversely affect our business.

We intend to continue to make investments to support our business growth and may require additional funds to respond to business challenges, including the need to develop new features or enhance our platform, improve our operating infrastructure or acquire complementary businesses and technologies. Accordingly, we may need to engage in public or private equity, equity-linked or debt financings to secure additional funds. If we raise additional funds through future issuances of equity or convertible debt securities, our existing shareholders could suffer significant dilution, and any new equity securities we issue could have rights, preferences and privileges superior to those of our existing shareholders. Any debt financing that we secure in the future could involve restrictive covenants relating to our capital raising activities and other financial and operational matters, including the ability to pay dividends. This may make it more difficult for us to obtain additional capital and to pursue business opportunities, including potential acquisitions. We may not be able to obtain additional financing on terms favorable to us, if at all. If we are unable to obtain adequate financing on terms satisfactory to us when we require it, our ability to continue to support our business growth and respond to business challenges could be significantly impaired, and our business could be adversely affected.



We are exposed to the risk of natural disasters, political events, war, terrorism and pandemics, each of which could disrupt our business and adversely affect our results of operations.

Events beyond our control could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. Disruption to our platform resulting from natural disasters, political events, war, terrorism, pandemics or other reasons could impair our ability to continue to provide uninterrupted platform service to our advertisers and digital properties. For example, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the responses taken and which may be taken by the U.S., NATO, other countries, multinational companies and others have created global security concerns that could have a lasting adverse impact on regional and global economies, and in turn, may lead to reduced spending on advertising and adversely affect our results of operations. Similarly, disruptions in the operations of our key third-parties, such as data centers, servers or other technology providers, could have a material adverse effect on our business.

While we have disaster recovery arrangements in place, they have not been tested under actual disasters or similar events and may not effectively permit us to continue to provide our platform. If any of these events were to occur to our business, our business, results of operations, or financial condition could be adversely affected.

Expansion of current and new partners and clients in our existing international markets is important to our long-term success, and our limited experience in operating our business in certain locations increases the risk that our international operations will not be successful.

As of December 31, 2021, we have offices in Israel, the United States, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Turkey, Thailand, India, Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia, Mexico, Germany, Spain, France and Italy. Expansion into new international markets requires additional management attention and resources in order to tailor our solutions to the unique aspects of each country. In addition, we face the following additional risks associated with our expansion into international locations:
 

challenges caused by distance, language and cultural differences;


longer payment cycles in some countries;
 

credit risk and higher levels of payment fraud;
 

compliance with applicable foreign laws and regulations, including laws and regulations with respect to privacy, data protection, spam and content, and the risk of penalties to our users and individual members of management if our practices are deemed to be noncompliant;
 

unique or different market dynamics or business practices;
 

currency exchange rate fluctuations or inflation;
 

foreign exchange controls;
 

political and economic instability and export restrictions;


potentially adverse tax consequences; and
 

higher costs associated with doing business internationally.

These risks could harm our international expansion efforts, which could have a materially adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

Item 4.
Information on the Company
 

A.
History and Development of the Company
 
Taboola is a technology company that powers recommendations across the Open Web with an artificial intelligence-based, algorithmic engine developed over the 14 years since the company began operations in 2007, under the Companies Law. Taboola partners with websites, devices, and mobile apps, collectively referred to as digital properties, to recommend editorial content and advertisements on the Open Web, outside of the closed ecosystems of the “walled gardens” such as Facebook, Google, and Amazon. Digital properties use Taboola’s recommendation platform to achieve their business goals, such as driving new audiences to their sites and apps, or increasing engagement with existing audiences. Taboola also provides monetization opportunities to digital properties by surfacing paid recommendations by advertisers. Unlike walled gardens, Taboola is a business-to-business company with no competing consumer interests. Taboola empowers advertisers to leverage its AI-powered recommendation platform to reach targeted audiences utilizing effective, native ad-formats across digital properties. Taboola generates revenues when people click on or, in some cases, view the ads that appear within its recommendation platform. Advertisers pay Taboola for those clicks or impressions, and Taboola shares a portion of the resulting revenue with the digital properties who display those ads.

The mailing address of Taboola’s principal executive office is 16 Madison Square West, 7th fl., New York, NY, 10010 and its telephone number is (212) 206-7663. Our agent for service of process in the United States is Taboola, Inc., 16 Madison Square West, 7th fl., New York, NY, 10010. Our website address is www.taboola.com. Information contained on, or that can be accessed through, our website does not constitute a part of this Annual Report and is not incorporated by reference herein. We have included our website address in this Annual Report solely for informational purposes. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC, maintains an Internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers, such as we, that file electronically, with the SEC at www.sec.gov.

Selected 2021 Developments

Business Combination and Our Public Listing

On June 29, 2021, our Merger Sub merged with and into ION, with ION continuing as the surviving company. As a result of the merger and the other transactions contemplated by the Merger Agreement, ION became a direct, wholly-owned subsidiary of Taboola and Taboola became a publicly traded corporation. Our Ordinary Shares and Warrants began trading on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbols “TBLA” and “TBLAW,” respectively, on June 30, 2021. See Item 7.B “Related Party Transactions.”

The Connexity Acquisition

On September 1, 2021 we completed our previously announced acquisition of Shop Holding Corporation, which we refer to as Connexity, one of the largest e-commerce media platforms on the open web with 6,000 publishers and 1,600 direct merchant relationships. The total consideration amount of approximately $800 million included retention incentives and is subject to customary purchase price adjustments for working capital and indebtedness.

At closing, we issued 17,328,049 of our Ordinary Shares based on a fair value of our Ordinary Shares at the closing date totaling an aggregated fair value of $157.7 million and paid approximately $593.9 million in cash with an additional $0.4 million, subject to adjustment, paid in January, 2022.

An additional 3,681,030 shares shall be delivered to Connexity employees in installments over three years following the closing as part of holdback arrangements, subject to continued employment with Taboola. Separately, certain employees of Connexity have been granted incentive equity awards of approximately $40 million that will settle in our Ordinary Shares and will vest subject to their continued employment with Taboola over the next approximately five years.

In connection with the Connexity acquisition, Taboola, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Taboola, as the borrower, entered into a senior secured term loan “B” credit facility in an aggregate principal amount of $300 million, or Term Loan Facility. The Term Loan Facility is subject to customary borrowing conditions and bears interest at a variable annual rate based on LIBOR or Base Rate plus a fixed margin. The Facility will mature on the seventh anniversary of the closing date and amortizes at a rate of 1.00% per annum payable in equal quarterly installments, with the remaining principal amount due at maturity.   The Term Loan Facility contains voluntary and mandatory prepayment provisions, representations and warranties, affirmative and negative covenants and events of default, in each case that are customary for facilities of the type. The Term Loan Facility does not contain any financial maintenance covenants.

Additional Developments and Growth Initiatives

In 2021, our global sales teams continued to develop partnerships with digital properties, advertisers, and merchants. We grew our 2021 Gross Profit by approximately $121 million, and ex-TAC Gross Profit by approximately $137 million. This equated to year-over-year ex-TAC Gross Profit growth of approximately 36% on a reported basis, and approximately 25% on a pro forma basis with Connexity. We drove this strong growth through a combination of the acquisition of new customers and the expansion of our existing customer base. Notably, in 2021 we announced new commercial agreements with premium publishers including Hearst UK, Penske Media Corporation, LINE Today, and BBC, and renewed and expanded terms with NBC Sports, Dennis Publishing Limited, Future PLC, Le Figaro, Le Depeche Interactive, Globes, Ynet, Unidad Editorial S.A., and NDTV.

In December 2021 we announced a new agreement with Microsoft, our largest digital property partner, through July 2024. Under that agreement, we are developing a new  technology which we began piloting on Microsoft’s digital properties in the first quarter of 2022. This new technology is expected to help us expand our footprint across Microsoft's digital properties beyond our existing inventory.

Our growth of existing digital property revenue is partially attributable to improving yield, supported in 2021 by the introduction of SmartBid Dimensions. SmartBid Dimensions is an AI-powered evolution of our SmartBid technology (which debuted in 2018) that increases the granularity of bid adjustments to include additional data signals including, but not limited to, geography, time of day, day of week, platform, operating system, and creative assets. SmartBid technology was utilized in the generation of more than 85% of our advertisers’ spend in the fourth quarter of 2021, and SmartBid Dimensions is a significant development of this technology.

We also expanded Taboola News, part of our “Recommend Anywhere” strategy. In 2021, we signed strategic partnerships with Samsung Brazil and Xiaomi Global, two of the largest Android OEM manufacturers in the world. In April, we announced a partnership with Samsung Brazil to be the exclusive provider of news curation on the homepage of Samsung’s standard internet browser, Samsung Internet. In September, we announced a strategic partnership with Xiaomi to bring our recommendation technology to mobile device lockscreens in 60 global markets. In the fourth quarter of 2021, Taboola News drove an average of more than 400 million monthly engagements on editorial content through our mobile device and OEM partnerships. This represents an increase of more than 125% year-over-year.

We furthered our “Recommend Anything” growth initiatives in two ways in 2021. First, we launched an initiative called Taboola High Impact Placements, which was developed to expand the amount of brand and agency advertising on our platform. Our High Impact offering drives brand awareness for advertisers and includes innovative homepage and mid-article advertising formats including video, rich media, and story and carousel formats popularized by social media platforms. To further enhance this specialized offering, our High Impact offering focuses on brand safety, including controls for content-quality and adjacency, supported by our proprietary and third party content-quality tools.

In keeping with our continuing commitment to content safety, in 2021 we announced that Taboola was awarded the Brand Safety Certified Seal from the Trustworthy Accountability Group, an organization that works to increase trust and transparency in digital advertising. Additionally, we announced a collaboration with Oracle Moat Measurement, a leader in real-time attention analytics, bringing new control, choice and transparency to advertisers working with Taboola. Along with our integration with Integral Ad Science announced in 2020, these developments aim to further advance our partnerships with brand marketers and agencies, which represented approximately 15% of our advertising revenues in 2021.

The second way we advanced our “Recommend Anything” strategy was through the acquisition of Connexity in September 2021. Connexity is one of the largest e-commerce media platforms on the open web with 6,000 publishers and 1,600 direct merchant relationships. Since then, we have been hard at work integrating our people and our operations. We merged our UK locations in November, and have multiple initiatives underway to create efficiencies and realize synergies. E-Commerce advertising has become a meaningful source of demand for us and contributed approximately 15% of our Revenues in the fourth quarter of 2021; the successful addition of the Connexity team is integral to our e-Commerce strategy.
 
Principal Capital Expenditures

For a description of our principal capital expenditures and divestitures for the three years ended December 31, 2021 and for those currently in progress, see Item 5. “Operating and Financial Review and Prospects.”


B.
Business Overview

Our Mission

We power recommendations for the Open Web, helping people all around the world discover things they may like, but never knew existed.

Our Company

Taboola is a technology company that powers recommendations across the Open Web with an artificial intelligence, or AI-based, algorithmic engine that we have developed over the past 14 years. Taboola has also recently expanded more directly into e-Commerce, allowing its partners with digital properties the ability to use its platforms to display advertising suited to the audiences of those partners’ websites or other digital services.

We think of ourselves as a search engine, but in reverse — instead of expecting people to search for information, we recommend information to people or enable our partners to use our technology. You’ve seen us before: we partner with websites, devices, and mobile apps, which we collectively refer to as digital properties, to recommend editorial content and advertisements on the Open Web, outside of the closed ecosystems of the walled gardens such as Facebook, Google, and Amazon.

Digital properties use our technology platforms to achieve their business goals, such as driving new audiences to their sites and apps, or increasing engagement on site — and we don’t charge them for these services. We also provide a meaningful monetization opportunity to digital properties by surfacing paid recommendations by advertisers. Unlike walled gardens, we are a business-to-business, or B2B, company with no competing consumer interests. We only interact with consumers through our partners’ digital properties, hence we do not compete with our partners for user attention. Our motivations are aligned. When our partners win, we win, and we grow together.

We empower advertisers, merchants, and affiliate networks, which we individually and collectively refer to as advertisers,  to leverage our proprietary AI-powered recommendation platform to reach targeted audiences utilizing effective, native ad formats across digital properties. We generate revenues primarily when people (consumers) click on, purchase from or, in some cases, view the ads that appear within our partners’ digital experiences via our recommendation platform. Advertisers pay us for those clicks, purchases, or impressions and we share the resulting revenue with the digital properties who display those ads and generate those clicks and downstream consumer actions.

Our powerful recommendation platform was built to address a technology challenge of significant complexity: predicting which recommendations users would be interested in, without explicit intent data or social media profiles. Search advertising platforms have access, at a minimum, to users’ search queries which indicate intent, while social media advertising platforms have access to rich personal profiles created by users. In contrast, we base our recommendations on an extensive dataset of context and user behavior derived from the intersection of thousands of digital properties and millions of recommended items, including ads and editorial content.

Our annual Revenues grew to $1,378.5 million in 2021, from $1,188.9 million in 2020 and $1,093.8 million in 2019. Over the same three years our Gross profit grew to $441.1 million, from $319.5 million and $232.0 million, and our ex-TAC Gross Profit grew to $518.9 million, from $382.4 million and $295.8 million, respectively. Our Net income (loss) for the same three years was $(24.9) million, $8.5 million and $(28.0) million, respectively, while our Adjusted EBITDA was $179.5 million, $106.2 million and $34.1 million, respectively. For more information about ex-TAC Gross Profit and Adjusted EBITDA, see “Management’s Business Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of OperationsNon-GAAP Financial Measures.”

Industry Trends

Advertising Budgets Shift to Digital Marketing. As we have witnessed over the last decade, advertising budgets continue to shift from traditional media, such as print newspapers, magazines and television, to digital channels. No longer a trend, a change in consumer attention to digital properties has become a lasting movement, giving advertisers an opportunity to reach increasing numbers of consumers at scale with relevant content and precise targeting, thereby driving a higher return on their investment.

Walled Gardens Dominate Digital Advertising Spend. According to eMarketer, more than half of digital advertising budgets are spent within the closed ecosystems of tech giants like Google, Facebook and Amazon, which we refer to as “walled gardens.” With the proliferation of these walled gardens and the time spent by consumers within them, the Open Web is fighting for user attention and as a result for advertising dollars.

Highly Fragmented Open Web. According to our estimates, advertisers spent approximately $67 billion advertising on the Open Web in 2021. Because the Open Web is, by definition, highly fragmented, it is harder for advertisers to access than the walled gardens.

The Technology behind Digital Advertising has become Increasingly Complex. Technologies for more automated and efficient buying and selling of digital advertising have been gaining traction for several years with both advertising buyers and digital properties. The ability to collect, collate and analyze intent data points using AI and machine-learning technology is a key differentiator for advertisers, digital properties and advertising intermediaries. Data insights can now be used to optimize digital advertising campaigns in ways that were not previously possible. This means that advertising intermediaries who do not have access to data or are not using AI to power their platforms may be at a disadvantage.

Shift from Offline Shopping to Online Shopping and e-Commerce. Online shopping has been growing consistently 15-20% and continuing to take share from offline shopping in physical stores. This trend has been significantly accelerated by the recent pandemic, leading to significant current and future expectations for continued hyper-growth of both online shopping and advertising spending by online retailers and e-Commerce companies.

Native Format Proliferation. According to eMarketer, native ads - ads that match the look, feel and function of the media format in which they appear, such as those used by Taboola - accounted for approximately 64% of total U.S. display ad spending in 2021, and spending on native ads in the U.S. is forecasted to grow by approximately 15% in 2022. Native advertising is a format that has been popularized by social media and is now familiar to consumers.

Increasing Reliance by Consumers on Social Media, Apps and Mobile Devices as a Source of News. According to Pew Research, in 2018, social media sites surpassed print newspapers as a news source for Americans: one in five U.S. adults said they often get news via social media. Consumers continue to shift away from traditional media sources for their news and are increasingly moving towards social media and messaging services to find the news. This trend has led to a proliferation of mobile apps designed to deliver news in real time to consumers.

Increasing Focus on Privacy and the Disappearance of Third Party Cookies. Government regulators, consumers, and technology companies recently turned their attention toward the use of consumer data and related privacy practices. This led to increased regulation, such as the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, and the California Consumer Privacy Act, or CCPA. In parallel, major Internet browsers, including Safari, Chrome and Firefox, announced that by 2022, they will phase out third-party cookies. These changes pose a challenge for the digital marketing landscape, which currently relies extensively on third-party cookie data for personalization and must adapt to comply with increasing regulation of consumer data.

Our Market Opportunity

We believe the Open Web needs a technology partner that enables digital properties to compete effectively with the scale and technological advantages of the tech giants. We believe our recommendation technology is applicable to a wide range of digital properties, including websites, apps, devices, and in the future, connected TVs and other mediums.

Unlike walled gardens, we are a B2B company with no competing consumer interests. We do not compete with our digital property partners for users’ attention. Our motivations are aligned: when our partners win, we win, and we grow together. This win-win mentality applies to our relationships with digital property partners and our advertiser clients. Our advertiser clients typically utilize a performance-based pricing model, which means they only pay us after a desired event, most commonly a click, occurs. In addition, our deep relationships with digital properties offer a compelling value for advertisers, granting consolidated access to Open Web audiences and, thus, reducing the effects of fragmentation. In the fourth quarter of 2021, we worked with over 15,000 advertisers to serve ads to users across the Open Web and reached over 500 million daily active users, which, for this figure, we calculated as the average daily number of users that have been exposed to Taboola content recommendations at least twice in the preceding seven days. We and our digital property partners both benefit when users stay engaged with content on the digital property. To that end, we share advertising revenue as well as content-consumption data with digital properties, which they can use to make editorial decisions that best accommodate their audiences’ interests and increase user engagement.

What We Do: Our Recommendation Platform

At the core of the Taboola platform is our AI-powered predictive recommendation engine, which predicts what people may find interesting by employing unique Deep Learning technology and utilizing a broad range of inputs.

In Taboola’s core business, w serve two types of recommendations: (1) editorial, or “organic,” content from the site that the user is currently visiting, in order to engage the user and increase their chances of staying on the site longer; and (2) third-party ads paid for by our advertiser partners. Our recommendations support text, image and video formats.

We generate revenue by enabling advertisers to place bids for the right to serve their ads to targeted audiences across the Taboola network of digital properties, including some of the most premium sites in the world. As part of our e-Commerce offerings, we also syndicate our retailer advertisers’ monetized product listings and links (clickable advertisements) into commerce content-oriented consumer experiences on both the Open Web and within the dominant traditional ad platforms.

Representative Product Implementation

 
 
Our Platform for Digital Properties

Through our technology, data and advertiser relationships, we help digital properties achieve three key goals:


Engagement: We keep users engaged with the digital property they are currently visiting, helping digital properties grow their business and not lose users to walled gardens. Digital properties work extremely hard to create engaging content and rely, in part, on Taboola to surface that content to the right user at the right time. To that end, the more content people read, the more time they spend on that digital property’s site, and the greater the opportunity for the digital property to monetize their business by, among other things, serving ads and offering subscriptions. In 2021, people clicked on Taboola recommendations tens of billions of times a year, and more than half of those clicks were on editorial content, keeping users on the site that they were on.
 

Audience: Digital properties using our platform can grow their audience in seven main ways: (1) using our Taboola Newsroom product, they can use the readership data we compile from across the Taboola network to inform editorial decisions and optimize their content strategy, ultimately bringing new users to their property; (2) creating audience exchange programs between their own sites and those of other digital properties on our network, diversifying their audiences and introducing their content to new users; (3) acquiring new quality audiences from across the Taboola network of digital properties; (4) driving subscriptions to newsletters and paid subscriptions which, help bring loyal readers again and again to their site; (5) distributing their editorial content onto devices, OEMs, mobile carriers and more; (6) providing access to structured product content that can be used to create compelling consumer experiences; and (7) delivering insights and real-time analytics that enable the optimization of e-Commerce content strategy to increase engagement and organic traffic generation.


Monetization: We enable digital properties to monetize their content with seamlessly integrated native ads, typically displayed in a feed format appearing at the end of an article, as well as other prime locations such as homepages, section fronts and middle of the articles. When people click on these ads or make a purchase, and in certain cases when they view the ads, advertisers pay us and we then share in this revenue with the digital property on which the click or impression occurred. With the addition of Taboola’s new offerings through its recent acquisition of e-Commerce focused Connexity, Inc., we also offer cost-per-click and cost-per-action monetization of both product listings and links to retailers that reside directly within editorial content.

Our Platform for Advertisers

Advertisers utilize Taboola’s platform and leverage our AI-powered recommendation engine to reach their audiences throughout the buyer journey, from building brand awareness to increasing customer loyalty. Using Taboola’s predictive engine, advertisers can engage consumers at the right time with the right content, using text, image or video formats. Taboola allows advertisers to run campaigns either directly through Taboola, using Taboola’s campaign management dashboard, or programmatically.

We believe we offer advertisers a complement to the walled gardens:


Massive reach: With an average of over 500 million daily active users in the fourth quarter of 2021, our platform creates opportunities to reach people on the Open Web when they’re most receptive to brand messages and new content.


Targeting: Our recommendation platform allows advertisers to target their campaigns according to multiple parameters, such as context, user location, device and network connection type. Additionally, we use the advertiser’s own data to target demographics, interests, “lookalike audiences” and more. Our predictive engine and large readership dataset enable advertisers to reach their target audiences with the right message, at the right time and in the right context. In contrast with social networks, where advertisers reach users based on carefully curated personas as well as other signals, our advertisers reach users based on signals from what people are reading on the Open Web, which we believe is a more authentic representation of their true interests.


Impactful Native Ad Formats: Our close partnerships with premium digital properties allow us to develop highly impactful ad experiences that support a variety of ad formats and achieve diverse advertiser goals, from awareness, to consideration, to purchase.


Brand Safe: Ads distributed by Taboola are typically served on pages that display editorial content rather than the ubiquitous user-generated content of platforms such as YouTube or Facebook. In addition, our ad platform allows advertisers to control the properties and topics on which their content appears, ensuring that their ads are displayed within suitable environments.


Measurable Performance-Based Advertising: Performance-based advertisers only pay when a consumer has actually engaged with the ad unit and in some cases only when a transaction is completed which is typically on a cost per click or cost per action basis. This is a particularly strong proposition for the retailer client advertising because it is a tangible return on the retailer client's media investment.

Our Recommendation Technology

Our R&D team has spent over a decade developing our proprietary AI-based recommendation technology used in our core product, solving an incredibly complex problem — how to construct a personalized recommendation feed from millions of available articles, videos and ads, in real-time, when you have over 500 million daily active users and need to optimize for diverse outcomes and support multiple pricing models.

Rather than rely on knowledge of what people are searching for or what they share on social media, our predictive algorithms employ unique Deep Learning technology to develop a powerful model of people’s interests across the Open Web. Our technology performs exceptionally well on diverse types of input data, such as text, images and video, and is designed to discover non-trivial relations between content and users in a specific context. We predict which recommendations users are most likely to engage with based on a broad set of ‘signals’ that fall into the following categories:


User Behavior. We are experts in analyzing pseudonymized user behavior across the Open Web. We gather a massive amount of content consumption data from users who visit our partners’ digital properties, which our Deep Learning engines then ingest.
 

Context. Our algorithms ingest contextual signals, such as geographic location of the user, what device the user is using, time of day, day of week, page layout, page language and more.


Analysis of Recommended Items. We analyze recommended items, including paid advertisements, editorial articles, images and videos, to identify signals such as topic, title, thumbnail image, semantics and sentiment.

Generating a Rich Recommendation Feed

We serve the majority of our recommendations within a feed that was modeled after widely popular social media feeds and adapted for the Open Web. While the feed format provides a good user experience, it requires technological expertise that is an order of magnitude more complex than optimizing a single ad.

This is both a competitive advantage and a technological challenge that requires our algorithms to optimize multiple placements simultaneously across an entire web page, while also supporting the unique objectives of our various partners. Indeed, any recommendation we generate takes into consideration the other advertisements and editorial content recommendations that we display in the same feed. The effect of the sum of these parts allows us to predict the user engagement in different contexts, and make algorithmic decisions concerning the content we serve the user next.

In order to populate recommendations within a feed, our technology must consider the whole page, and recommend content or ads within the context of that page. This has implications both on the algorithms to predict engagement, as well as on how ad auctions are conducted. We have built an efficient algorithm to estimate the incrementality of new items based on what is already in the feed, and taking into account both how strong the item is standalone, as well as how similar it is to the other items already in the feed.

Additionally, our Deep Learning engine allows us to optimize for multiple objectives simultaneously, which delivers efficacy to advertisers, increases user engagement and supports the achievement of many other business goals in tandem. As opposed to other digital ad intermediaries who optimize the placements of a single ad unit in an environment they do not control, we influence, and more often create, the setting in which ads appear as we control the entire feed of content and ads, and optimize across the entire feed, page or session.

Lastly, we have built a robust ability to conform our recommendation feeds to the design of our digital property partners’ pages and layouts. Presenting a variable mix of both editorial and paid content in this native format also mitigates the risk of user fatigue, commonly referred to as “banner blindness,” that has been noted in traditional display ads.

How We Recommend Editorial Content

Recommending editorial, or organic, content produced by digital properties enables us to help our publisher partners keep users active on their site for a longer period of time, increasing their exposure to more personalized editorial content — thus increasing overall satisfaction and loyalty.

To successfully recommend editorial content items, we developed algorithms that extract and analyze content consumption patterns from our entire network of digital properties. Our recommendations also rely on our deep understanding of reading habits based on our analysis of redundancy, recency, vertical, longevity, relevance device type and other factors.

In order to refine our ability to recommend editorial content even further, we have built multiple crawlers to ingest editorial content, categorize it, and extract named entities and topics using our Natural Language Understanding platform, which transforms human language into a machine-readable format. We also automated the assimilation, classification and generation of creatives, including images, videos, titles and descriptions.

We also take into consideration the optimization of recommendations to support our publishers’ goals, including subscriptions, pages per session, session duration, subscriptions to newsletters and more.

How We Recommend Ads

Recommending ads is particularly complex because the process requires accurately predicting multiple facets of the user’s interaction:


The probability the user will interact (click on an ad, or go to an advertiser’s site/app after seeing an ad), given a specific user and context.


The probability a user will convert (into a lead, sales or other KPIs the advertiser wishes to optimize) after she clicked/viewed an ad, given a specific user and context.


The price of a specific item (we support cost per click (CPC) and cost per thousand impressions (CPM)).

Our ultimate measure of success in recommending ads is achieving the advertiser’s goals. In order to do so, Taboola’s algorithms are designed to select the right opportunity to engage the right user with the right ad, while at the same time optimizing pricing and selecting the best creative assets to use. Our technology is designed to predict the value of each item and optimize both the advertising creatives and the format mix in each auction.

As described above, in order to make effective recommendations, our technology must first predict a user’s engagement with a given advertisement. When combined with the bid for each item, and the prediction of the conversion, this allows us to calculate the relative value of each item available for recommendation. To create an efficient marketplace, our algorithms support diverse pricing models, including CPC and CPM, and are able to conduct efficient auctions between them in order to maximize available inventory for advertisers with diverse marketing objectives. We optimize bids for a particular ad, advertiser, user and context, while factoring in constraints, such as geographic location targeting or audience segment targeting, regardless of pricing model.

In order to assist advertisers in executing efficient and effective campaigns, we developed a pricing automation tool called Smart Bid. Smart Bid is an automated campaign bidding strategy that utilizes platform data to bid effectively in real-time on impressions that are most likely to lead to conversions.

To maximize the probability of a user engaging with an ad, we support flexible native ad formats that include images, videos, text and interactive elements; we also support specialized elements, such as product price, discount, number of items left in stock, mobile app rating and more. Selecting the optimal ad also involves determining the best version and format of the ad from a very large number of combinations; Taboola does so by running a scalable infrastructure of multi-variant testing, which in turn allows the algorithm to choose the best creative combination efficiently.

How we Enable Digital Properties to make e-Commerce Recommendations

With our acquisition of Connexity, our solutions have expanded to include e-Commerce focused content and monetization solutions for publishers. From a content point of view, we provide publishers with access to over 500 million product listings that are structured into product categories and enriched with product attributes. We syndicate those enriched offers to publishers, thereby enabling them to create consumer shopping or editorial experiences by embedding those product listings as native content within their websites, apps or social media feeds.

There are a variety of implementations in terms of how publishers can access and engage with the content. Technology-savvy enterprise publishers will ingest the entire product listings feed and use their own search engine or content management system to choose how, when and which content to display. Less tech-enabled publishers will call Connexity’s search engine API to retrieve product listing results based on a search query, and then they will publish those product listings within their consumer experience in real-time. Lastly, professional editors or social influencers can use a browser-based editorial tool to hand-pick a specific product to display within their editorial content experience.

In each of those cases, from a monetization perspective, we enable the publisher to seamlessly earn revenue on either a CPC or cost-per-action (CPA) for clicks and conversions that are generated by consumer engagement with the product listings or other retail-oriented editorial content.

To enable these publishers to maximize the success of the commerce content initiatives, the company provides a suite of analytics dashboards that showcase real-time feedback on the performance of each of their product listing or editorial placements. In addition, the company also provides insights into industry trends including visibility into the type of content and products that are converting well across the entire network. These real-time feedback loops and insights are critical inputs that drive publishers’ content strategy and decisions about which products to promote. They accrue significant benefits to both publishers and the company in the form of increased yield and significantly differentiate the solution as the network effect is difficult to replicate.

We are Built for the Open Web as a Complement to the Walled Gardens

In support of our win-win approach to partnerships, our recommendation technology is built to operate differently. Because we power editorial recommendations, digital properties typically embed our code directly on their web page. This means we can serve our own first-party cookie, much like what digital properties do on their own sites and applications.

Our recommendation platform allows both digital properties and advertisers to control their brand identity within Taboola’s network. For example, digital properties can set “acceptance profiles” to determine which types of advertisers we will recommend, and advertisers can target or block selected digital properties. To consistently regulate the quality of our network, we also maintain a public content policy and employ a content review team that reviewed over nine million items in the fourth quarter of 2021. This combination of technology and human review is designed to create a consistently high level of brand safety and quality content within our network.

While developing our recommendation technology, privacy is always at the top of our mind. We have long established and adopted privacy-by-design as a central element of our technology, and product design and development cycles, with a strong commitment to ensuring best practices in privacy, security and safety for our partners and users. Since 2017, we have had a designated Data Privacy Officer along with a team of privacy specialists. These specialists are integrated within our R&D and Product organizations and processes, and consider all facets of user privacy as key elements in the design of any new technology, solution or feature of our recommendation platform. We also perform ongoing privacy impact assessments to monitor potential risks during the product lifecycle and proactively mitigate those risks.

Infrastructure

To successfully deliver optimized recommendations to over 500 million daily active users, and 500,000 recommendation requests every second, we developed powerful software and hardware infrastructures from the ground up.

Our data infrastructure was designed and implemented with several principles to ensure both very high accuracy and high speed to process and ingest every new data input at a very high scale and throughput. This infrastructure continuously “feeds” the predictive Deep Learning models, granting access to rich user history and enabling enrichment of data.

In order to support the massive amount of text analysis, processing, named entities and general semantic understanding, we have built a Natural Language Understanding platform with a large scale knowledge graph. Designed to recognize multiple languages, topics, concepts, named entities and categories for the entire Taboola platform, this platform is built using Deep Learning technologies.

The ability to control the entire feed across multiple canvases is enabled by building state of the art client-side technologies to render and serve a rich feed of content across billions of devices, canvases and user touch points. This process operates within strict SLA and performance constraints, which requires us to develop our technology to work efficiently on low-end and high-end devices and canvases.

As of December 31, 2021, we utilized approximately 9,500 servers; three back-end data centers processing over 100TB of data per day to train our AI engine; and seven front-end global data centers that, together, have served up to one trillion recommendations monthly. We use around 410,000 CPU and GPU cores, 1.5PB of memory and around 10,000TB of storage overall.

Deployment of our code to the production environment is fully automated and includes execution of tens of thousands of automated tests for each code change, using AI to locate anomalies in the code to prevent errors. This allows our R&D to develop software quickly and enables us to continuously deliver reliable code and AI models to production. To address the extreme complexity of operating at such a massive scale, we use cutting-edge technologies, such as Tensorflow, Spark, Cassandra and Kafka, as well as highly sophisticated code we developed to allow these tools to meet our scale and reliability requirements.

Our Team

We have assembled a world class team of engineers and data scientists with a business-focused, innovative engineering culture. We have access to top talent in Asia, Europe, Israel, and the U.S., including very strong talent in AI, Deep Learning, high-scale infrastructure and browser-based technologies. We believe our engineering culture plays a key role in our success: we assign business KPIs to R&D teams so technological decisions and priorities are aligned with business needs; we empower engineers to own features end-to-end, from ideation to full adoption; and we put special emphasis on collaboration. Our engineering culture relies strongly on experimentation and multi-variants testing. We continuously deploy and run hundreds of different AI models, UI variations and optimizations, in effect measuring hundreds of KPIs. We build our infrastructure such that it enables this culture of continuous improvement.

Our Competitive Strengths

We believe the following key strengths provide us with competitive advantages:
 

Performance of our AI Technology. We have spent 14 years developing our AI-powered recommendation technology to drive high yield for digital properties, high returns on advertising spend for advertisers, and relevant recommendations to consumers, who spend more time consuming content on digital properties. Similarly our recent e-Commerce investment uses AI powered technology to drive optimized performance for advertisers and digital properties.
 

More than Monetization. The value we provide to digital properties goes beyond monetization. Our technology helps digital properties grow their audience by optimizing audience exchange programs; recommending content created by the digital properties to increase the time consumers spend on these properties; helping editorial teams make data-driven decisions, and more. We work daily with our extensive network of global digital properties to improve our platform and create more value for the entire Taboola network.
 

Exclusive, Multi-Year Partnerships with Premium Digital Properties. We have established long-standing, and in many cases exclusive relationships with digital properties on the Open Web. They have chosen to work with Taboola across all types of platforms, including desktop, mobile and tablet devices. This provides Taboola and Taboola advertisers with predictable access to audiences and supply.


Direct Relationships with Advertisers. We work directly with the majority of the advertisers that use our platform. This allows us to build strong relationships, help advertisers succeed on our platform, and evolve our technology based on direct feedback.


High Reach and Scale. We have more than 500 million daily active users across the globe, enabling advertisers to run campaigns at scale.


Network Effect. As more digital properties use our platform, we gather more content consumption data. More data makes our AI-driven algorithms more effective in making predictions, which in turn enables us to deliver better performance for advertisers, which drives higher yields for digital properties. These higher yields make it easier to retain digital properties and acquire new partners.
 

Founder-led Experienced Management Team. Our founder, Adam Singolda, has successfully led the company as CEO since we began operations in 2007. Most of Taboola’s senior management has worked together with our founder for many years: the average tenure of our senior management is over eight years, demonstrating strong execution and achieving rapid growth.


Strong Financial Profile. We designed our business to be highly scalable, with a focus on sustainable long-term development. Since we began operations in 2007, we have demonstrated consistent growth in revenues and were profitable since 2020.


Preparing for a World Without Third Party Cookies. Our direct integration with many digital properties has helped us navigate changes in the industry. Our engineers continue to work closely with industry stakeholders to ensure we will be prepared if third-party cookies are fully blocked, as many industry observers expect, and we continue to invest in innovative solutions that deliver relevant and engaging discovery experiences for our users.

Our Growth Opportunities

We intend to grow our business by focusing on the following key areas:
 

Continued Investment in AI. Continuously investing in our AI technology is at the heart of what we do. We believe AI is critical to engaging Open Web users and will ultimately provide better service and greater monetization to advertisers and digital properties, increasing our yields and accelerating our growth.
 

Grow our Core Digital Property and Advertiser Client Base. While we already have an extensive network of global digital properties and advertisers, we believe the efficacy of our recommendation platform gives us the opportunity to expand our partnerships and client base even further. We expect to continue investing in our technology, expanding our global presence, and growing our sales and client service teams to support further growth.


Add User Touchpoints. At our core, Taboola is a recommendation engine. We believe many types of digital properties need a recommendation engine to engage their consumers, find new audiences and monetize. This includes e-Commerce websites, connected TVs, devices and more. In 2018, we launched Taboola News, an offering which seamlessly integrates premium content from our digital properties into connected devices. We believe our existing partnerships with leading device manufacturers and mobile carriers, as well as potential future partnerships with connected TV vendors and others, presents a substantial growth opportunity for both Taboola and our partners.


Add New Types of Recommendations. From experience, we know recommendation engines become better when they are able to recommend a greater variety of content. For example, in 2016, we predicted that video content presented a huge opportunity for advertisers to reach their audiences in a highly impactful way, for digital properties to drive better monetization and for users to engage with suggested videos, similar to how they are used on social networks such as Instagram. To that end, we added support for video formats in our recommendation platform and saw significant returns from doing so. Similarly, we believe there is opportunity to further diversify our recommendation offerings and intend to invest in new formats and advertising partnerships to improve both consumer experience and yield. The ability to display a variety of media formats in novel combinations is key to preventing “banner blindness” that plagues traditional display formats and making our recommendation engine even better.


E-Commerce. We have expanded into the e-Commerce market through our acquisition of Connexity, which strengthens our data, pairing our readership data with purchasing data that can make our AI better, grow yield and make our advertising partners more successful. Our expansion into e-Commerce aligns with Taboola’s overall business strategy, which is about working directly with both advertisers and publishers, serving high quality advertising experiences that do not depend on cookies. E-Commerce is also the way for us to diversify what we recommend - to recommend products - and to grow our yield for publishers, which helps us become even more competitive. These new capabilities will provide merchants, and publishers, large and small, more opportunities to scale outside of the walled gardens, making the open web thrive.


Pursue Value-Enhancing Acquisition Opportunities. The Open Web remains highly fragmented, which presents attractive opportunities for us to grow through strategic and value-enhancing acquisitions. A key aspect of our long-term growth strategy is to continue to pursue acquisitions that expand our offerings into new and evolving digital properties and to capture more of the advertising spend within the Open Web. Consistent with that strategy, we are continually evaluating potential acquisition opportunities in light of changing industry trends and competitive conditions.






Our Business Partners

We primarily have two types of business partners: digital properties that use Taboola to drive new audiences, engagement and monetization; and advertisers, and their agencies, that use Taboola to achieve a variety of marketing objectives.

Digital Properties

Taboola had approximately 16,000 digital property partners in the fourth quarter of 2021, including many premium properties such as Microsoft, NBCUniversal, CBSi, The Independent and Daily Mail. These partners value our ability to drive new audiences to their sites, engage their users, and monetize their digital properties, while our data insights assist them in making informed editorial decisions. Our value is evidenced by our many multi-year, exclusive partnerships. As of December 31, 2021, our average contract term length with our digital properties was over two years as measured by contract duration at inception; some of our largest partners have even longer-term agreements.

Microsoft is our largest partner. Other than Microsoft, no other digital property partner accounted for 3% or more of our Revenues generated from advertisers on digital properties in 2021.

Advertisers

We had approximately 15,000 advertiser, merchant, and affiliate network clients working with us directly, or through advertising agencies, worldwide during the fourth quarter of 2021. The vast majority of our Revenues comes from advertisers working with us directly, rather than via an agency. We support the leading programmatic channels via integrations with leading demand side platforms, or DSPs. Thanks to the effectiveness of our recommendation engine, many of our advertiser clients are considered “always on,” which means they continuously invest on our platform, rather than running finite campaigns.

Our advertiser customer base is highly diverse. Some of the verticals we have seen strong adoption in are health & fitness, finance, hobbies & interests, technology & computing, home & garden, shopping and automotive. Our ten largest advertisers accounted for less than 13% of total Revenues on our network in 2021, with none larger than 3%.

Sales and Marketing

To support our “win-win” approach to working with both digital properties and advertisers, we employ a global sales team tasked with signing new partners and growing existing implementations. Our team is deployed around the world with sales hubs in Bangkok, London, Los Angeles, New York, and Sao Paulo, supported by regional satellite offices in order to best serve our geographically diverse client base.

Selling to Digital Properties

Our sales teams are responsible for adding new partnerships with digital properties. Once a digital property joins our network, our account management team works with the digital property’s stakeholders to understand their goals, help them reach those goals, and identify new opportunities for mutual growth on an ongoing basis.

Selling to Advertisers

We sell to advertisers through our global sales team and a “self-service” website. Our sales team onboards new customers, mostly large advertisers, through direct outreach from one of our international sales offices. Our account management teams provide ongoing guidance and data insights that inform campaign strategies and help advertisers learn how to maximize their return on investment with Taboola. Advertisers can also choose our self-service platform to launch and manage campaigns. Outside of account managers, we support advertisers through our online Help Center, in-product instructions, and a large number of video tutorials.

Marketing

To support our global sales force, our marketing team presents at industry conferences and hosts webinars and customer events. In addition, our marketing team invests in public relations, advertises online to build brand awareness and acquire new customers, creates case studies, sponsors third-party research, authors data insight reports, creates marketing collateral, publishes blog posts and creates and sponsors events online and in-person.

Competition

We operate in a highly competitive industry. Our main competition for advertising budgets and digital property partnerships are walled gardens and advertising intermediaries:

Walled Gardens. We compete for advertising dollars with the closed ecosystems of technology companies such as Google, Facebook and Amazon. In many cases we also compete with those companies, in particular Google, for real estate on digital properties. As described above, unlike the walled gardens, our business is based on a “win-win” model of partnership, where we do not compete with our partners and our goals are aligned.

Advertising Intermediaries. A large number of companies provide a solution to one or more of the steps involved in the buying and selling of advertisements online. These include The Trade Desk, Magnite, PubMatic, Xandr, Yahoo, Outbrain, Plista, TripleLift, RevContent, Teads and others. While these companies may be in competition with us, some are also partners of ours.

When competing for advertiser business, we compete for budgets based on price, reach, speed, brand safety and performance. When competing for digital properties’ business, we are measured on our ability to generate revenue and support other business goals, such as audience development.

Intellectual Property

Our proprietary recommendation engine and associated algorithms and technologies are key to our success, and we rely upon a combination of trade secret, trademark, copyright, and patent laws in the United States and abroad as well as confidentiality agreements and technical measures to establish, maintain and protect our intellectual property and protect our proprietary recommendation engine and associated algorithms and technologies.

Historically, we have not patented our proprietary technology in order to keep our technology architecture, trade secrets, and engineering roadmap private; however, as of December 31, 2021, we own approximately twenty issued patents. We also register certain domain names, trademarks and service marks in the United States and in certain locations outside the United States. Additionally, we rely upon common law protection for certain trademarks. We generally enter into confidentiality and invention assignment agreements with our employees and contractors, and confidentiality agreements with our partners and clients with whom we conduct business, in order to limit access to, and disclosure and use of, our proprietary information.

Our in-house know-how is also an important element of our intellectual property. The development and management of our platform requires sophisticated coordination among many specialized employees. We believe duplication of this coordination by competitors or individuals seeking to copy our platform would be difficult. The risk of a competitor effectively replicating the functionality of our platform is further mitigated by the fact that our service offerings are cloud-based and served through a third party content delivery network, which is designed to protect our core technology from being exposed or accessible to a user or a competitor. To protect our technology, we implement multiple layers of security and our protection measures are ISO 27001 certified.

Taboola’s General Privacy Practices

Taboola is committed to protecting personal data and providing users transparency and control over the use of their data in online advertising. We seek to strictly enforce our privacy and data protection policies, knowing this is important to our partners, clients, users and vendors.

Historically, we have not collected any data that would enable the direct identification of Internet users. As of December 31, 2021, we used only pseudonymous data about Internet users on our platform to manage and execute digital advertising campaigns. We either collect this data directly from users’ devices or it is passed to us by third parties. We provide consumers with notice about our use of cookies and our collection and use of data in connection with the delivery of targeted advertising and allow them to opt-out from the use of data we collect for the delivery of targeted advertising.

We are members of or participants in industry self-regulatory organizations, including the Digital Advertising Alliance, the Digital Advertising Alliance Canada, and the European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance. Taboola also adheres to the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising, and the IAB Europe OBA Framework. In addition, Taboola is a proud member in good standing of the Network Advertising Initiative, an association dedicated to responsible data collection use in digital advertising, and we adhere to the NAI Code of Conduct for Web and Mobile. Taboola also has partnerships with a number of industry groups, including the Coalition for Better Ads, the Trustworthy Accountability Group and the Future of Privacy Forum.

Our privacy team delivers company-wide privacy training, enforces our privacy policies and is integral to ensuring that we consider the privacy implications in all aspects of our proprietary platform. We regularly review and document our internal privacy policies, amend existing policies as necessary, and enforce these policies with our clients, publisher partners and vendors.

Privacy and data protection laws and regulations play a significant role in our business. Our ability to collect, augment, analyze, use, share and otherwise process data relies upon the ability to uniquely identify devices across websites, and applications, and to collect data about user interactions with those devices for purposes such as serving relevant ads and measuring the effectiveness of ads. Federal, state and international laws and regulations regarding the collection, use and other processing of consumer data by advertising networks, advertisers and digital properties is frequently evolving. This includes those related to the level of consumer notice and consent required before a company can employ cookies or other electronic tools to collect data about interactions with users online. Taboola’s operation of its platform and services is subject to numerous U.S. and global privacy regulations, including, without limitation, the following: the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation and ePrivacy Directive, the United Kingdom's General Data Protection Regulation, California’s Consumer Privacy Act, China’s Personal Information Protection Law, South Korea’s Personal Information Protection Act, Turkey’s Law on the Protection of Personal Data, and New Zealand’s Privacy Act 2020.

Privacy Regulation in the U.S.

In the United States, at both the federal and state level, there are laws that govern activities such as the collection, use and other processing of personal data by covered companies. At the federal level, online advertising activities and data processing activities are subject to regulation by the FTC, which has regularly relied upon Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act to enforce against unfair and deceptive trade practices, including alleged violations of consumer privacy interests. Some proposed and newly enacted legislation has affected and will continue to affect our operations and those of our industry partners.

For example, the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, or CCPA, which went into effect January 1, 2020, defines “personal information” broadly enough to include online identifiers provided by individuals’ devices, such as IP addresses, and establishes a new privacy framework for covered businesses. The CCPA imposes more stringent obligations on companies regarding the level of information and control they provide to users about the collection and sharing of their data. Moreover, the California Privacy Rights Act, or CPRA, was approved by California voters in November 2020 and will further modify and expand the CCPA, including by expanding consumers’ rights with respect to certain personal information and creating a new state agency to oversee implementation and enforcement efforts. Other states have enacted, or are considering enacting, similar legislation.

Privacy Regulation in Europe

Our business activities are also subject to foreign legislation and regulation. In the European Economic Area or EEA, separate laws and regulations (and member states’ implementations thereof) govern the processing of personal data, and these laws and regulations continue to impact us. The General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, came into effect on May 25, 2018. Like the CCPA, the GDPR defines “personal data” broadly, and it enhances data protection obligations for “controllers” of such data and for service providers, called “processors,” processing the data. It also provides certain rights, such as access and deletion, to the individuals about whom the personal data relates and we have adapted our services to accommodate such rights. The digital advertising industry has collaborated to create a user-facing framework, which we use as of December 31, 2021, for establishing and managing legal bases under the GDPR and other EEA privacy laws including the EU Directive 2002/58/EC (as amended by Directive 2009/136/EC).

For the transfer of personal data from the EEA to the U.S., we rely upon direct contractual agreements between Taboola’s European corporate entity, Taboola Europe Limited, and Taboola’s U.S. corporate entity, Taboola, Inc., based on the EU’s standard contractual clauses. These contractual agreements obligate Taboola’s U.S. operations to uphold adequate data protection measures (appropriate safeguards, enforceable data subject rights, and effective legal remedies for data subjects) on all data that Taboola transfers to the U.S. from the EEA on its own behalf and on behalf of its clients and partners. However, standard contractual clauses have been subjected to regulatory and judicial scrutiny and the legal bases for cross-border data transfers are constantly evolving. A recent decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (“Schrems II”) ruled that standard contractual clauses are not sufficient, on their own, to provide appropriate safeguards for transfers of personal data from the European Union to the United States (and other non-EEA countries) and that companies that engage in these transfers, like Taboola, need to undertake data transfer risk assessments and implement any “supplementary measures” necessary to address any risks identified in order to ensure that the data they transfer continues to be protected to a standard that is essentially equivalent with the GDPR.

On January 31, 2020, the United Kingdom ceased to be a member state of the European Union. It remained subject to European Union laws however, including the GDPR, until December 31, 2020 throughout a Brexit “transition period. Upon expiry of the Brexit transition period, European Union law ceased to apply to the UK and the GDPR was saved into United Kingdom domestic legislation by virtue of section 3 of the UK’s European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, creating a “UK GDPR. The effect of this has been that, notwithstanding the expiry of the Brexit transition period, GDPR standards continue to apply in substance in the UK by virtue of the UK GDPR, and apply to Taboola’s UK operations and processing of personal data about individuals in the UK.

Privacy Regulation in the Asia-Pacific Region

Our business activities are also subject to legislation and regulation in the Asia-Pacific region. Following the implementation of the GDPR, many jurisdictions have moved to amend, release, review and strengthen their existing data privacy and cybersecurity laws, and there has been a progressive effort in the region to work towards coordination of their otherwise disparate laws. Many countries have also sought out adequacy decisions from the EU. New Zealand’s updated Privacy Act and South Korea’s amendments to its Personal Information Protection Act, which went into effect in 2020, and China’s Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL), which went into effect in 2021, largely align with requirements of the GDPR. Thailand and Japan’s new similar updates and regulations will also become effective in 2021 and 2022, respectively. Other jurisdictions, such as India, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong, are reviewing their existing privacy regimes, with an eye toward similar data protection developments.

To address this range of developments, Taboola’s data protection program is largely rooted in the GDPR and ISO 27001 security standards, and any international data transfers from the Asia-Pacific region are governed by direct contractual agreements between the regional entities and Taboola’s Israeli parent corporate entity, Taboola.com Ltd. Otherwise, our privacy team works to oversee compliance with these Asia-Pacific regional requirements and to address compliance with our region-specific clients and business teams.

Human Capital

We strive to create a diverse, inclusive and ambitious environment where every employee can discover and unleash their potential to achieve individual and collective success. Our employees are our most valuable asset.

Employees

On December 31, 2021, we had approximately 1,800 employees, the majority of which have been employed by Taboola for over two years (including service periods of persons employed by Connexity prior to Taboolas acquisition of Connexity). We have approximately 500 employees working in research and development, with an average tenure of three years.

As of December 31, 2021, our employees are not covered by a collective bargaining agreement, except as required by law under arrangements in France, Spain, and Brazil, covering a total of approximately 60 employees. We have never experienced a general strike or similar work stoppage.

Transparency

The ability to be transparent and share and discuss our business challenges and opportunities openly and broadly with all our employees is important to our success. We promote an open dialogue with our employees through all-hands meetings, usually twice a month, which include Q&A sessions with senior leadership. We conduct annual and topic-specific employee feedback surveys which consistently receive 80% or higher response rate. Survey results are shared publicly with our managers and employees. In 2021, over 88% of our employees expressed confidence in our leadership team. We continue to adjust our investment in human capital based on the feedback from our employees.

Talent Acquisition and Development

We are focused on recruiting and retaining talented employees across the organization, with a particular focus on unique talent in algorithms, product, customer relationship management and many other areas that are critical to our success. We continue to invest to hire and retain top talent in all of our offices, and provide competitive compensation for our employees and a range of flexible benefits, including an industry-leading parental leave policy. We have been consistently recognized by Dun & Bradstreet as a top high-tech company to work for in Israel in 2021 and by Built In as one of the 100 best large companies to work for in Los Angeles 2022. Our strong external reputation led to over 23,000 candidates applying to work at Taboola each quarter in 2021. For new hires, we developed an onboarding program tailored towards their roles and responsibilities. On an ongoing basis, we invest in training and development programs that help our employees achieve their career goals, build management skills and lead their organizations. We have two formal career feedback discussions per year where managers and their employees discuss progress and feedback for each other every year. We believe in developing and promoting top talent from within: in 2021, one out of every five of our employees was offered an opportunity for career advancement within the company.

Performance and Alignment

We have a “pay for performance” culture that we believe drives superior results. We invest in our workforce by offering competitive salaries, incentives, and benefits. We align the interests of our employees with those of Taboola through a broad-based equity award program, generally with a four-year vesting schedule. Typically, employee bonus plans are based on both personal and company goals.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

In 2020, we further formalized and elevated our existing diversity efforts by launching a global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, or DEI, taskforce. The DEI task force continues to work with our senior management team to address global DEI topics and develop relevant initiatives to ensure we continue to build a culture where every employee feels valued, seen, and heard. We continue to have a mechanism for employees to anonymously voice concerns.

In 2021, we began to see the results of our initiatives. With respect to finding top diverse talent, we began by assessing our current workforce demographics by region and business unit, and established goals and guidelines in efforts of diversifying our recruitment funnel at the first assessment stage. We invested and enhanced our applicant tracking tool to include DE&I related tracking, allowing us to capture and track self-identification data from applicants. We further invested in strategic partnerships with employment platforms that provide us multi-pronged access to highly skilled underrepresented talent, who may not currently be on our platform, such as Built-In, Ivy Research Council, and Jopwell. As a result, in 2021, we saw that 50% of our new hires were women and 33% of those women were hired into technical positions, which is higher than the industry average. In order to continue to track our progress we created a DEI dashboard.

Within the organization, we increased the number of Employee Resource Groups from two to six, and provided them each with an annual budget in order to sponsor programming and events. We launched a mentorship program connecting Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) talent to senior leaders. We increased the number of global and region-specific initiatives held to promote a culture of inclusion and belonging - such as, workshops, panels, networking events and communities for various interest groups. We partnered with Gold Enterprises and created robust programming for our multi-year DEI training plan.

We are committed to building a long-term plan that will help foster a community that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive, both internally and externally.


C.
Organizational Structure
 
The following is a simplified organizational chart of Taboola and our significant subsidiaries as of the date of this Annual Report. All such subsidiaries are 100% owned directly or indirectly by Taboola, unless otherwise indicated.
 

* One ordinary share of Taboola Brasil Internet Ltda. is owned by Taboola, Inc.
 

D.
Property, Plants and Equipment
 
Our corporate headquarters is in New York City and our core research and development team is in Tel Aviv. We maintain offices in major cities around the world to serve our geographically diverse client base. Additionally, we operate data centers in the United States, Israel, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore and Netherlands and have ten data centers which are operated under collocation agreements with seven third-party data center providers. Certain of our real property and other leases are further described in Note 7, 10 and 16 of Notes to our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report.

We lease all of our facilities. We do not own any real property. We believe our current facilities are adequate to meet our immediate needs.
 
Item 4A.
Unresolved Staff Comments
 
None.
 
Item 5.
Operating and Financial Review and Prospects

 You should read the following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations together with Taboola’s audited consolidated financial statements and the related notes appearing elsewhere in this Annual Report. Some of the information contained in this discussion and analysis is set forth elsewhere in this Annual Report, including information with respect to Taboola’s plans and strategy for Taboola’s business, and includes forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. As a result of many factors, including those factors set forth in the section titled “Risk Factors” and “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements,” Taboola’s actual results could differ materially from the results described in or implied by the forward-looking statements contained in the following discussion and analysis. Throughout this section, unless otherwise noted or the context requires otherwise, “we,” “us,” “our” and the “Company” refer to Taboola and its consolidated subsidiaries, and in references to monetary amounts, “dollars” and “$” refer to U.S. Dollars, and “NIS” refers to New Israeli Shekels.

Overview

Taboola is a technology company that powers recommendations across the Open Web with an artificial intelligence, or AI-based, algorithmic engine that we have developed over the past 14 years. Taboola has also recently expanded more directly into e-Commerce, allowing its partners with digital properties the ability to use its platforms to display advertising suited to the audiences of those partners’ websites or other digital services.

We think of ourselves as a search engine, but in reverse — instead of expecting people to search for information, we recommend information to people or enable our partners to use our technology. You’ve seen us before: we partner with websites, devices, and mobile apps, which we collectively refer to as digital properties, to recommend editorial content and advertisements on the Open Web, outside of the closed ecosystems of the walled gardens such as Facebook, Google, and Amazon.

Digital properties use our technology platforms to achieve their business goals, such as driving new audiences to their sites and apps, or increasing engagement on site — and we don’t charge them for these services. We also provide a meaningful monetization opportunity to digital properties by surfacing paid recommendations by advertisers. Unlike walled gardens, we are a business-to-business, or B2B, company with no competing consumer interests. We only interact with consumers through our partners’ digital properties, hence we do not compete with our partners for user attention. Our motivations are aligned. When our partners win, we win, and we grow together.

We empower advertisers, merchants, and affiliate networks, which we individually and collectively refer to as advertisers, to leverage our proprietary AI-powered recommendation platform to reach targeted audiences utilizing effective, native ad formats across digital properties. We generate revenues primarily when people (consumers) click on, purchase from or, in some cases, view the ads that appear within our partners’ digital experiences via our recommendation platform. Advertisers pay us for those clicks, purchases or impressions, and we share the resulting revenue with the digital properties who display those ads and generate those clicks and downstream consumer actions.

Our powerful recommendation platform was built to address a technology challenge of significant complexity: predicting which recommendations users would be interested in, without explicit intent data or social media profiles. Search advertising platforms have access, at a minimum, to users’ search queries which indicate intent, while social media advertising platforms have access to rich personal profiles created by users. In contrast, we base our recommendations on an extensive dataset of context and user behavior derived from the intersection of thousands of digital properties and millions of recommended items, including ads and editorial content.

Our annual Revenues grew to $1,378.5 million in 2021, from $1,188.9 million in 2020 and $1,093.8 million in 2019. Over the same three years, our Gross profit grew to $441.1 million, from $319.5 million and $232.0 million, and our ex-TAC Gross Profit grew to $518.9 million, from $382.4 million and $295.8 million, respectively. Our Net income (loss) for the same three years was $(24.9) million, $8.5 million and $(28.0) million, respectively, while our Adjusted EBITDA was $179.5 million, $106.2 million and $34.1 million, respectively. For more information about ex-TAC Gross Profit and Adjusted EBITDA, see “Operating and Financial Review and Prospects—Non-GAAP Financial Measures.”

ION Merger Agreement

On January 25, 2021, we and one of our subsidiaries entered into a Merger Agreement with ION Acquisition Corp. 1 Ltd. Under that agreement, our subsidiary merged with and into ION, with ION continuing as the surviving company and becoming our direct, wholly-owned subsidiary. The Merger Agreement and the related transactions were unanimously approved by both our board of directors and the ION board. The Business Combination and other transactions contemplated by the Merger Agreement, closed on June 29, 2021 after receipt of the required approval by our shareholders and ION’s shareholders and the fulfillment of certain other conditions. In connection with the Merger Agreement, we also obtained commitments for the purchase in private transactions that closed concurrently with the Business Combination of approximately $285 million of our Ordinary Shares, of which approximately $150 million was purchased directly from certain of our existing shareholders, primarily from early investors.

Connexity Acquisition

On September 1, 2021 we completed our previously announced acquisition of Shop Holding Corporation, which we refer to as Connexity. The total consideration amount of approximately $800 million included retention incentives and is subject to customary purchase price adjustments for working capital and indebtedness.

At closing, we issued 17,328,049 of our Ordinary Shares based on a fair value of shares at the closing date of $157.7 million and paid approximately $593.9 million in cash with an additional $0.4 million, subject to adjustment, paid in January, 2022.

An additional 3,681,030 shares are deliverable to Connexity employees in installments over three years following the closing as part of holdback arrangements, subject to continued employment with Taboola. Separately, certain employees of Connexity have been granted incentive equity awards of approximately $40 million that will settle in our Ordinary Shares and will vest subject to their continued employment with Taboola over the next approximately five years.

At the closing we also entered into a $300 million senior secured term loan credit agreement and used the full proceeds of the loan, net of issuance cost to finance, in part, the Connexity acquisition. See Notes 5, 8, and 12 of Notes to our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report.

Key Factors and Trends Affecting our Performance

We believe that our performance and future success depend on several factors that present significant opportunities for us but also pose risks and challenges, including those discussed below and in the section entitled “Risk Factors.”

Maintaining and Growing Our Digital Property Partners

We engage with a diverse network of digital property partners, substantially all of which have contracts with us containing either an evergreen term or an exclusive partnership with us for multi-year terms at inception. These agreements typically require that our code be integrated on the digital property web page because of the nature of providing both editorial and paid recommendations. This means that in the vast majority of our business, we do not bid for ad placements, as traditionally happens in the advertising technology space, but rather see all users that visit the pages on which we appear. Due to our multi-year exclusive contracts and high retention rates, our supply is relatively consistent and predictable. We had approximately 16,000, 9,000 and 7,000 digital property partners in the fourth quarter of 2021, 2020 and 2019, respectively.

We have a strong record of growing the revenue generated from our digital property partners. We grow our digital property partner relationships in four ways. First, we grow the revenue from these partnerships by increasing our yield over time. We do this by improving our algorithms, expanding our advertiser base and increasing the amount of data that helps target our ads. Second, we continuously innovate with new product offerings and features that increase revenue. Third, we innovate by launching new advertising formats. Fourth, we work closely with our digital property partners to find new placements and page types where we can help them drive more revenue.

For the majority of our digital properties partners, we have two primary models for sharing revenue with digital property partners. The most common model is a straight revenue share model. In this model, we agree to pay our partner a percentage of the revenue that we generate from advertisements placed on their digital properties. The second model includes guarantees. Under this model, we pay our partners the greater of a fixed percentage of the revenue we generate and a guaranteed amount per thousand page views. In the past, we have and may continue to be required to make significant payments under these guarantees.

Growing Our Advertiser Client Base

We have a large and growing network of advertisers, across multiple verticals. We had approximately 15,000, 13,000 and 12,000 advertiser clients working with us directly, or through advertising agencies, worldwide during the fourth quarter of 2021, 2020 and 2019, respectively. A large portion of our revenue comes from advertisers with specific performance goals, such as obtaining subscribers for email newsletters or acquiring leads for product offerings. These performance advertisers use our service when they obtain a sufficient return on ad spend to justify their ad spend. We grow the revenue from performance advertisers in three ways. First, we improve the performance of our network by developing new product features, improving our algorithms and optimizing our supply. Second, we secure increased budgets from existing advertisers by offering new ad formats and helping them achieve additional goals. Third, we grow our overall advertiser base by bringing on new advertisers that we have not worked with previously. In addition to our core performance advertisers, video brand advertisers are a small but growing portion of our revenue.

Improving Network Yield

One way that we grow our revenue is by increasing the yield on our network, which is a general term for the revenue that we make per advertising placement. Because we generally fill close to 100% of advertising impressions available, yield is generally not affected by changing fill rates, but rather is impacted in four ways. First, we increase our yield by improving the algorithms that select the right ad for a particular user in a particular context.

These algorithms are based on Deep Learning technology and are a key competitive advantage. Second, we continuously innovate and develop new product offerings and features for advertisers, which help increase their success rates on our network and improve yield. Third, as we grow our advertiser base and mix of advertisers, including adding advertisers able to pay higher rates, our yields increase because of increasing competitive pressure in our auction. Finally, we increase our yield by optimizing the way we work with digital properties, including changing formats and placements. Increasing yield drives higher revenues on all digital property partners. Increasing yield also generally increases margins for ex-TAC Gross Profit, a non-GAAP measure, for those digital property partners to whom we are paying guarantees.

Product and Research & Development

We view research and development expenditures as investments that help grow our business over time. These investments, which are primarily in the form of employee salaries and related expenditures and hardware infrastructure, can be broken into two categories. This first category includes product innovations that extend the capabilities of our current product offerings and help us expand into completely new markets. This includes heavy investment in AI (specifically Deep Learning) in the form of server purchases and expenses for data scientists. This category of investment is important to maintain the growth of the business but can also generally be adjusted up or down based on management’s perception of the potential value of different investment options. The second category of investments are those that are necessary to maintain our core business. These investments include items such as purchasing servers and other infrastructure necessary to handle increasing loads of recommendations that need to be served, as well as the people necessary to maintain the value delivered to our customers and digital property partners, such as investments in code maintenance for our existing products. This type of investment scales at a slower rate than the growth of our core business.

Managing Seasonality

The global advertising industry has historically been characterized by seasonal trends that also apply to the digital advertising ecosystem in which we operate. In particular, advertisers have historically spent relatively more in the fourth quarter of the calendar year to coincide with the year-end holiday shopping season, and relatively less in the first quarter. We expect these seasonality trends to continue, and our operating results will be affected by those trends with revenue and margins being seasonally strongest in the fourth quarter and seasonally weakest in the first quarter.

Privacy Trends and Government Regulation

We are subject to U.S. and international laws and regulations regarding privacy, data protection, digital advertising and the collection of user data. In addition, large Internet and technology companies such as Google and Apple are making their own decisions as to how to protect consumer privacy, which impacts the entire digital ecosystem. Because we power editorial recommendations, digital properties typically embed our code directly on their web pages. This makes us less susceptible to impact by many of these regulations and industry trends because we are able to drop first party cookies. In addition, because of this integration on our partners’ pages, we have rich contextual information to use to further refine the targeting of our recommendations.

Impact of COVID-19

In December 2019, COVID-19 was first reported to the World Health Organization, or WHO, and in January 2020, the WHO declared the outbreak to be a public health emergency. In March 2020, the WHO characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic. The spread of COVID-19 initially significantly impacted the digital advertising industry, reducing advertising budgets, lowering ad rates and leading advertisers to defer planned ad campaigns.

We experienced a notable decline in advertising rates soon after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we attribute an approximately 12% reduction in our second quarter of 2020 revenue to the pandemic. We took three steps to address the reduction in advertising rates, which resulted in a gradual recovery in revenue that continued throughout the remainder of the year. First, we worked with our digital property partners to optimize yield by focusing on revenue-generating enhancements. Second, we focused our sales efforts on finding advertisers that were still spending online and trying to reach consumers who were sheltering at home. This effort, combined with a return of spend from certain types of advertisers, allowed us to grow our advertiser base and increase yield. Finally, we continued our investment in our algorithms that help improve yields. After the reduction in advertising and rates in the first two quarters of 2020, we saw a strong recovery in our network yield in the second half of 2020. The gains in network yields we realized in the second half of 2020 continued into 2021 and we expect network yields to increase during 2022 at rates consistent with pre-COVID historical levels.

As a result of the pandemic, we restricted employee travel, asked all non-essential personnel to work from home, canceled physical participation in sales activities, meetings, events and conferences, which reduced our operating expenses. We also examined the efficiency and impact of expenditures across our business and found more efficient ways to work in many cases. This included imposing a hiring freeze while we worked to optimize the way we conducted business. As part of our close relationship with our digital property partners, certain of our partners that had guarantee compensation arrangements agreed to forgo their guarantee compensation and instead shift to 100% revenue share until yield recovered. In connection with these arrangements, for certain digital property partners, we extended their agreements. In the fourth quarter of 2020, we returned to guarantee arrangements with substantially all of the affected digital property partners and agreed with them to undo the 100% revenue share arrangement, reinstate the original payment terms, and receive payments, retroactively, of the guarantee under the original compensation terms.

The ultimate societal and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic remains unknown. In particular, we cannot predict whether any worsening or continuation of the pandemic, or any resulting recession, will adversely affect our business.

Key Financial and Operating Metrics

We regularly monitor a number of metrics in order to measure our current performance and project our future performance. These metrics aid us in developing and refining our growth strategies and making strategic decisions.

   
Year ended December 31,
 
   
2021
   
2020
   
2019
 
   
(dollars in thousands)
 
Revenues
 
$
1,378,458
   
$
1,188,893
   
$
1,093,830
 
Gross profit
 
$
441,071
   
$
319,497
   
$
231,969
 
ex-TAC Gross Profit(1)
 
$
518,863
   
$
382,352
   
$
295,829
 
Net cash provided by operating activities
 
$
63,521
   
$
139,087
   
$
18,056
 
Free Cash Flow(1)
 
$
24,451
   
$
121,313
   
$
(26,272
)
Net income (loss)
 
$
(24,948
)
 
$
8,493
   
$
(28,025
)
Adjusted EBITDA(1)
 
$
179,464
   
$
106,193
   
$
34,082
 
Non-GAAP Net Income(1)
 
$
108,961
   
$
56,803
   
$
(10,316
)
Ratio of Net income (loss) to Gross profit
   
(5.7
%)
   
2.7
%
   
(12.1
%)
Ratio of Adjusted EBITDA to ex-TAC Gross Profit(1)
   
34.6
%
   
27.8
%
   
11.5
%
Cash, cash equivalents and short-term deposits
 
$
319,319
   
$
242,811
   
$
115,883
 

(1)
Non-GAAP measure. Refer to “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” below for an explanation and reconciliation to GAAP metrics.

Revenues

All of our Revenues are generated from advertisers, merchants and affiliate networks with whom we enter into commercial arrangements, defining the terms of our service and the basis for our charges. Generally, our charges are based on a CPC, CPM or CPA basis. For campaigns priced on a CPC basis, we recognize these Revenues when a user clicks on an advertisement we deliver. For campaigns priced on a CPM basis, we recognize these Revenues when an advertisement is displayed. For campaigns on a CPC basis, revenues are recognized on a per-click basis. For campaigns priced on a performance-based CPA basis, the Company generates revenue when a user makes an acquisition. Certain revenues are recognized net of traffic acquisition costs.

Gross profit

Gross profit is calculated as presented on our consolidated statement of income (loss) for the periods presented.

ex-TAC Gross Profit

We calculate ex-TAC Gross Profit as Gross profit adjusted to include Other cost of revenues.

Net cash Provided by Operating Activities

Net cash provided by operating activities is our Net income (loss) adjusted for non-cash charges and net cash provided by changes in our working capital as presented in our consolidated statements of cash flows.

Free Cash Flow

We calculate Free Cash Flow as Net cash provided by operating activities minus purchases of property, plant and equipment, including capitalized platform costs. We expect our Free Cash Flow to fluctuate in future periods as we invest in our business to support our plans for growth.

Net income (loss)

Net income (loss) is calculated as presented on our consolidated statement of income (loss) for the periods presented.

Adjusted EBITDA

We calculate Adjusted EBITDA as Net income (loss) before net financial expenses, income tax provision and depreciation and amortization, further adjusted to exclude share-based compensation and other noteworthy income and expense items such as certain M&A related costs, which may vary from period-to-period.

Ratio of Net income (loss) to Gross profit

We calculate Ratio of Net income (loss) to Gross Profit as Net income (loss) divided by Gross profit.

Ratio of Adjusted EBITDA to ex-TAC Gross Profit

We calculate Ratio of Adjusted EBITDA to ex-TAC Gross Profit as Adjusted EBITDA divided by ex-TAC Gross Profit.

Non-GAAP Net Income

We calculate Non-GAAP Net income as Net income (loss) adjusted to exclude revaluation of our Warrants liability, share-based compensation expense including Connexity holdback compensation expenses, M&A costs and amortization of acquired intangible assets, other noteworthy items that change from period to period and related tax effects.

Cash, cash equivalents and short-term deposits

Cash equivalents are short-term highly liquid investments that are readily convertible to cash with original maturities of three months or less. Short-term deposits are bank deposits with maturities of more than three months but less than one year.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

We are presenting the following non-GAAP financial measures because we use them, among other things, as key measures for our management and board of directors in managing our business and evaluating our performance. We believe they also provide supplemental information that may be useful to investors. The use of these measures may improve comparability of our results over time by adjusting for items that may vary from period to period or not be representative of our ongoing operations.

These non-GAAP measures are subject to significant limitations, including those identified below. In addition, other companies may use similarly titled measures but calculate them differently, which reduces their usefulness as comparative measures. Non-GAAP measures should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for GAAP measures. They should be considered as supplementary information in addition to GAAP operating, liquidity and financial performance measures.

ex-TAC Gross Profit

We believe that ex-TAC Gross Profit, which we calculate as Gross profit adjusted to include Other cost of revenues, is useful because traffic acquisition cost, or TAC, is what we must pay digital properties to obtain the right to place advertising on their websites, and we believe focusing on ex-TAC Gross Profit better reflects the profitability of our business. We use ex-TAC Gross Profit as part of our business planning, for example in decisions regarding the timing and amount of investments in areas such as infrastructure.

Limitations on the use of ex-TAC Gross Profit include the following:
 

Traffic acquisition cost is a significant component of our Cost of revenues but is not the only component; and
 

ex-TAC Gross Profit is not comparable to our Gross profit and by definition ex-TAC Gross Profit presented for any period will be higher than our Gross profit for that period
 
The following table provides a reconciliation of Revenues and Gross profit to ex-TAC Gross Profit:

   
Year ended December 31,
 
   
2021
   
2020
   
2019
 
   
(dollars in thousands)
 
Revenues
 
$
1,378,458
   
$
1,188,893
   
$
1,093,830
 
Traffic acquisition cost
   
859,595
     
806,541
     
798,001
 
Other cost of revenues
   
77,792
     
62,855
     
63,860
 
Gross Profit
 
$
441,071
   
$
319,497
   
$
231,969
 
Add back: Other cost of revenues
   
77,792
     
62,855
     
63,860
 
ex-TAC Gross Profit
 
$
518,863
   
$
382,352
   
$
295,829
 

Free Cash Flow

We believe that Free Cash Flow, which we calculate as Net cash provided by operating activities minus purchases of property and equipment, including capitalized internal-use software, is useful to provide management and others with information about the amount of cash generated from our operations that can be used for strategic initiatives, including investing in our business, making strategic acquisitions, and strengthening our balance sheet. We expect our Free Cash Flow to fluctuate in future periods as we invest in our business to support our plans for growth. Limitations on the use of Free Cash Flow include the following:
 

it should not be inferred that the entire Free Cash Flow amount is available for discretionary expenditures. For example, cash is still required to satisfy other working capital needs, including short-term investment policy, restricted cash, and intangible assets;
 

Free Cash Flow has limitations as an analytical tool, and it should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of other GAAP financial measures, such as Net cash provided by operating activities; and
 

this metric does not reflect our future contractual commitments.

The following table provides a reconciliation of Net cash provided by operating activities to Free Cash Flow.

   
Year ended December 31,
 
   
2021
   
2020
   
2019
 
   
(dollars in thousands)
 
Net cash provided by operating activities
 
$
63,521
   
$
139,087
   
$
18,056
 
Purchases of property and equipment, including capitalized internal-use software
   
39,070
     
17,774
     
44,328
 
Free Cash Flow
 
$
24,451
   
$
121,313
   
$
(26,272
)

Adjusted EBITDA and Ratio of Adjusted EBITDA to ex-TAC Gross Profit

We believe that Adjusted EBITDA is useful because it allows us and others to measure our performance without regard to items such as share-based compensation expense, depreciation and interest expense and other items that can vary substantially depending on our financing and capital structure, and the method by which assets are acquired. We use Adjusted EBITDA and GAAP financial measures for planning purposes, including the preparation of our annual operating budget, as a measure of performance and the effectiveness of our business strategies, and in communications with our board of directors. We may also use Adjusted EBITDA as a metric for determining payment of cash or other incentive compensation.

Limitations on the use of Adjusted EBITDA include the following:
 

although depreciation expense is a non-cash charge, the assets being depreciated may have to be replaced in the future, and Adjusted EBITDA does not reflect cash capital expenditure requirements for such replacements or for new capital expenditure requirements;
 

Adjusted EBITDA excludes share-based compensation expense, which has been, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future, a significant recurring expense for our business and an important part of our compensation strategy;
 

Adjusted EBITDA does not reflect, to the extent applicable for a period presented: (1) changes in, or cash requirements for, our working capital needs; (2) interest expense, or the cash requirements necessary to service interest or if applicable principal payments on debt, which reduces cash available to us; or (3) tax payments that may represent a reduction in cash available to us; and
 

the expenses and other items that we exclude in our calculation of Adjusted EBITDA may differ from the expenses and other items, if any, that other companies may exclude from Adjusted EBITDA when they report their operating results.
 
We calculate Adjusted EBITDA as Net income (loss) before net financial expenses, income tax provision and depreciation and amortization, further adjusted to exclude share-based compensation and other noteworthy income and expense items such as certain merger or acquisition related costs, which may vary from period-to-period.

The following table provides a reconciliation of Net income (loss) to Adjusted EBITDA.

   
Year ended December 31,
 
   
2021
   
2020
   
2019
 
   
(dollars in thousands)
 
Net Income (loss)
 
$
(24,948
)
 
$
8,493
   
$
(28,025
)
Adjusted to exclude the following:
 
                 
Financial expenses (income), net
   
(11,293
)
   
2,753
     
3,392
 
Tax expenses
   
22,976
     
14,947
     
4,997
 
Depreciation and amortization
   
53,111
     
33,957
     
39,364
 
Share-based compensation expenses(1)
   
124,235
     
28,277
     
8,249
 
M&A costs(2)
   
11,661
     
17,766
     
6,105
 
Holdback compensation expenses(3)
   
3,722
     
-
     
-
 
Adjusted EBITDA
 
$
179,464
   
$
106,193
   
$
34,082
 

(1)   For the 2021 period, a substantial majority is Share-based compensation expenses related to going public.

(2)   For 2020 period, represents costs associated with the proposed strategic transaction with Outbrain Inc. which we elected not to consummate, and for 2021 period, relates to the acquisition of ION Acquisition Corp. 1 Ltd., the acquisition of Connexity and going public.

(3)   Represents share based compensation due to holdback of our Ordinary Shares issuable under compensatory arrangements relating to Connexity acquisition.

We calculate Ratio of Net income (loss) to Gross profit as Net income (loss) divided by Gross profit. We calculate Ratio of Adjusted EBITDA to ex-TAC Gross Profit as Adjusted EBITDA divided by ex-TAC Gross Profit. We believe that the Ratio of Adjusted EBITDA to ex-TAC Gross Profit is useful because TAC is what we must pay digital properties to obtain the right to place advertising on their websites, and we believe focusing on ex-TAC Gross Profit better reflects the profitability of our business. The following table reconciles Ratio of Net income (loss) to Gross profit and Ratio of Adjusted EBITDA to ex-TAC Gross Profit for the periods shown:

   
2021
   
2020
   
2019
 
   
(dollars in thousands)
 
Gross Profit
 
$
441,071
   
$
319,497
   
$
231,969
 
Net Income (loss)
 
$
(24,948
)
 
$
8,493
   
$
(28,025
)
Ratio of Net income (loss) to Gross profit
   
(5.7
%)
   
2.7
%
   
(12.1
%)
ex-TAC Gross Profit
 
$
518,863
   
$
382,352
   
$
295,829
 
Adjusted EBITDA
 
$
179,464
   
$
106,193
   
$
34,082
 
Ratio of Adjusted EBITDA Margin to ex-TAC Gross Profit
   
34.6
%
   
27.8
%
   
11.5
%

Non-GAAP Net Income
 
We believe that Non-GAAP Net Income is useful because it allows us and others to measure our operating performance and trends without regard to items such as the revaluation of our Warrants liability, share-based compensation expense, cash and non-cash M&A costs including amortization of acquired intangible assets, other noteworthy items that change from period to period and related tax effects. These items can vary substantially depending on our share price, acquisition activity, the method by which assets are acquired and other factors. Limitations on the use of Non-GAAP Net Income include the following:
 

Non-GAAP Net Income excludes share-based compensation expense, which has been, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future, a significant recurring expense for our business and an important part of our compensation strategy;


Non-GAAP Net Income will generally be more favorable than our Net income (loss) for the same period due to the nature of the items being excluded from its calculation; and
 

Non-GAAP Net Income is a performance measure and should not be used as a measure of liquidity.

The following table reconciles GAAP Net Income (loss) to Non-GAAP Net Income for the periods shown:

 
Year Ended December 31,
 
 
2021
   
2020
   
2019
 
 
(dollars in thousands)
 
Net Income (loss)
 
$
(24,948
)
 
$
8,493
   
$
(28,025
)
Amortization of acquired intangibles
   
23,007
     
2,560
     
3,421
 
Share-based compensation expense(1)
   
124,235
     
28,277
     
8,249
 
M&A costs(2)
   
11,661
     
17,766
     
6,105
 
Holdback compensation expenses(3)
   
3,722
     
-
     
-
 
Revaluation of Warrants
   
(22,656
)
   
-
     
-
 
Income tax effects(4)
   
(6,060
)
   
(293
)
   
(66
)
Non-GAAP Net Income
 
$
108,961
   
$
56,803
   
$
(10,316
)

(1)    For the 2021 period, a substantial majority is Share-based compensation expenses related to going public.

(2)   For 2020 period, represents costs associated with the proposed strategic transaction with Outbrain Inc. which we elected not to consummate, and for 2021 period, relates to the acquisition of ION Acquisition Corp. 1 Ltd., the acquisition of Connexity and going public.

(3)    Represents share based compensation due to holdback of Ordinary Shares issuable under compensatory arrangements relating to Connexity acquisition.

(4)   Includes non-recurring GAAP tax expense of $4.4 million related to voluntary utilization of an Israeli tax program which provided an incentive for Israeli companies to release certain previously tax-exempted earnings at a reduced tax rate. See Note 15 of Notes to our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report.

Components of Our Results of Operations

Revenues

All of our Revenues are generated from advertisers, merchants and affiliate networks with whom we enter into commercial arrangements, defining the terms of our service and the basis for our charges. Generally, our charges are based on a CPC, CPM or CPA basis. For campaigns priced on a CPC basis, we recognize these Revenues when a user clicks on an advertisement we deliver. For campaigns priced on a CPM basis, we recognize these Revenues when an advertisement is displayed. For campaigns priced on a performance-based CPA basis, the Company generates revenue when a user makes an acquisition.

Cost of revenues

Our cost of revenue primarily includes Traffic acquisition cost and other cost of revenue.

Traffic acquisition cost

Traffic acquisition cost, or TAC, consists primarily of cost related to digital property compensation for placing our platform on their digital property and cost for advertising impressions purchased from real-time advertising exchanges and other third parties. Traffic acquisition cost also includes up-front payments, incentive payments, or bonuses paid to the digital property partners, which are amortized over the respective contractual term of the digital property arrangement. For the majority of our digital properties partners, we have two primary compensation models for digital properties. The most common model is a revenue share model. In this model, we agree to pay a percentage of our revenue generated from advertisements placed on the digital properties. The second model includes guarantees. Under this model, we pay a greater of a percentage of the revenue generated and a committed guaranteed amount per thousand page views (“Minimum guarantee model”). Actual compensation is settled on a monthly basis. Expenses under both the revenue share model as well as the Minimum guarantee model are recorded as incurred, based on actual revenues generated by us at the respective month.

Other cost of revenues

Other cost of revenues includes data center and related costs, depreciation expense related to hardware supporting our platform, amortization expense related to capitalized internal-use software and acquired technology, personnel costs, and allocated facilities costs. Personnel costs include salaries, bonuses, share-based compensation, and employee benefit costs, and are primarily attributable to our operations group, which supports our platform and our clients.

Gross profit

Gross profit, calculated as revenues less cost of revenues, has been, and will continue to be, affected by various factors, including fluctuations in the amount and mix of revenue and the amount and timing of investments to expand our digital properties partners and advertisers base. We hope to increase both our Gross profit in absolute dollars and as a percentage of revenue through enhanced operational efficiency and economies of scale.

Research and development expenses

Research and development expenses consist primarily of personnel costs, including salaries, bonuses, share-based compensation and employee benefits costs, allocated facilities costs, professional services and depreciation. We expect research and development expenses to increase in future periods to support our growth, including continuing to invest in optimization, accuracy and reliability of our platform and other technology improvements to support and drive efficiency in our operations. These expenses may vary from period to period as a percentage of revenue, depending primarily upon when we choose to make more significant investments.

Sales and marketing expenses

Sales and marketing expenses consist of payroll and other personnel related costs, including salaries, share-based compensation, employee benefits, and travel for our sales and marketing departments, Advertising and promotion, rent and depreciation. We expect to increase selling and marketing expenses to support the overall growth in our business.

General and administrative expenses

General and administrative expenses consist of payroll and other personnel related costs, including salaries, share-based compensation, employee benefits and expenses for executive management, legal, finance and others. In addition, general and administrative expenses include fees for professional services and occupancy costs. We expect our general and administrative expense to increase as we scale up headcount with the growth of our business, and as a result of operating as a public company, including compliance with the rules and regulations of the Securities Exchange Commission, legal, audit, additional insurance expenses, investor relations activities, and other administrative and professional services.

Other income (expenses), net

Finance income (expenses), net

Finance income (expenses), net, primarily consists of interest income (expense) including amortization of loan issuance cost, warrants liability fair value adjustments, gains (losses) from foreign exchange fluctuations and bank fees.

Provision for income taxes

The statutory corporate tax rate in Israel was 23% for 2021, 2020 and 2019, although we are entitled to certain tax benefits under Israeli law (refer to the Note 15 to our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report).

Pursuant to the Israeli Law for Encouragement of Capital Investments-1959 (the “Investments Law”) and its various amendments, under which we have been granted Privileged Enterprise” status, we were granted a tax exemption status for the years 2018 and 2019. The 2018 tax exemption resulted in approximately $10.4 million of potential tax savings. In 2019 we did not benefit from the Privileged Enterprise status because we did not have taxable income. The benefits available to a Privileged Enterprise in Israel relate only to taxable income attributable to the specific investment program and are conditioned upon terms stipulated in the Investment Law. We received a Tax Ruling from the Israeli Tax Authority that its activity is an industrial activity and therefore eligible for the status of a Privileged Enterprise, provided that we meet the requirements under the ruling. If we do not fulfill these conditions, in whole or in part, the benefits can be revoked, and we may be required to refund the benefits, in an amount linked to the Israeli consumer price index plus interest. As of December 31, 2021, management believes that the we meet the aforementioned conditions.

For 2021 and subsequent tax years, we adopted The “Preferred Technology Enterprises” (“PTE”) Incentives Regime (Amendment 73 to the Investment Law) granting a 12% tax rate in central Israel on income deriving from benefited intangible assets, subject to a number of conditions being fulfilled, including a minimal amount or ratio of annual R&D expenditure and R&D employees, as well as having at least 25% of annual income derived from exports to large markets. PTE is defined as an enterprise which meets the aforementioned conditions and for which total consolidated revenues of its parent company and all subsidiaries are less than NIS 10 billion.

In the fourth quarter of 2021, the Company utilized a special program initiated by the Israeli Tax Authority allowing Israeli companies to voluntarily release tax-exempted earnings at a reduced tax rate which resulted in GAAP tax expense of $4.4 million.

As of December 31, 2021, we have an accumulated tax loss carry-forward of approximately $8.4 million in Israel and $1.7 million of federal tax in the U.S. Those tax losses can be offset indefinitely. Non-Israeli subsidiaries are taxed according to the tax laws in their respective jurisdictions.


A.
Operating Results

The following table provides consolidated statements of income (loss) data for the periods indicated:

   
Year ended December 31,
   
2021 vs. 2020
   
2020 vs. 2019
 
   
2021
   
2020
   
2019
   
$ Change
   
% Change
   
$ Change
   
% Change
 
   
(dollars in thousands)
   
(thousands)
         
(thousands)
       
Revenues
 
$
1,378,458
   
$
1,188,893
   
$
1,093,830
   
$
189,565
     
15.9
%
 
$
95,063
     
8.7
%
Cost of revenues:
                                                       
Traffic acquisition cost
   
859,595
     
806,541
     
798,001
     
53,054
     
6.6
%
   
8,540
     
1.1
%
Other cost of revenues
   
77,792
     
62,855
     
63,860
     
14,937
     
23.8
%
   
(1,005
)
   
(1.6
%)
Total cost of revenues
   
937,387
     
869,396
     
861,861
     
67,991
     
7.8
%
   
7,535
     
0.9
%
Gross profit
   
441,071
     
319,497
     
231,969
     
121,574
     
38.1
%
   
87,528
     
37.7
%
Operating expenses:
                                                       
Research and development expenses
   
117,933
     
99,423
     
84,710
     
18,510
     
18.6
%
   
14,713
     
17.4
%
Sales and marketing expenses
   
206,089
     
133,741
     
130,353
     
72,348
     
54.1
%
   
3,388
     
2.6
%
General and administrative expenses
   
130,314
     
60,140
     
36,542
     
70,174
     
116.7
%
   
23,598
     
64.6
%
Total operating expenses
   
454,336
     
293,304
     
251,605
     
161,032
     
54.9
%
   
41,699
     
16.6
%
Operating income (loss) before finance income (expenses), net
   
(13,265
)
   
26,193
     
(19,636
)
   
(39,458
)
   
(150.6
%)
   
45,829
     
(233.4
%)
Finance income (expenses), net
   
11,293
     
(2,753
)
   
(3,392
)
   
14,046
     
(510.2
%)
   
639
     
(18.8
%)
Income (loss) before income taxes
   
(1,972
)
   
23,440
     
(23,028
)
   
(25,412
)
   
(108.4
%)
   
46,468
     
(201.8
%)
Provision for income taxes
   
(22,976
)
   
(14,947
)
   
(4,997
)
   
(8,029
)
   
53.7
%
   
(9,950
)
   
199.1
%
Net income (loss)
 
$
(24,948
)
 
$
8,493
   
$
(28,025
)
 
$
(33,441
)
   
(393.7
%)
 
$
36,518
     
(130.3
%)

Comparison of the Years Ended December 31, 2021 and 2020

Revenues increased by $189.6 million, or 15.9%, for the year ended December 31, 2021 compared to the year ended December 31, 2020. New digital property partners within the first 12 months that were live on our network contributed approximately $89 million of new Revenues. Net growth of existing digital property partners contributed approximately $101 million, including the growth of new digital property partners (beyond the revenue contribution determined based on the run-rate revenue generated by them when they are first on-boarded) and growth due to the Connexity acquisition.

Gross Profit increased by $121.6 million, or 38.1%, for the year ended December 31, 2021 compared to the year ended December 31, 2020.

Ex-TAC Gross Profit, a non-GAAP measure, increased by $136.5 million, or 35.7%, for the year ended December 31, 2021 compared to the year ended December 31, 2020, primarily due to net growth of existing digital property partners, including the growth of new digital property partners (beyond the revenue contribution determined based on the run-rate revenue generated by them when they are first on-boarded) and growth due to the Connexity acquisition. New digital property partners within the first 12 months that were live on our network contributed the remainder of the increase.

Cost of revenues increased by $68.0 million, or 7.8%, for the year ended December 31, 2021 compared to the year ended December 31, 2020.

Traffic acquisition cost increased by $53.1 million, or 6.6%, for the year ended December 31, 2021 compared to the year ended December 31, 2020, reflecting the increase in Revenues. Revenues increased at a faster pace than Traffic acquisition cost due to increased yield on digital properties with guarantee obligations and a mix shift to higher margin digital properties. The cost of guarantees (total payments due under guarantee arrangements in excess of amounts the Company would otherwise be required to pay under revenue sharing arrangements) as a percentage of traffic acquisition costs were approximately 9% and 13% for the year ended December 31, 2021 and December 31, 2020, respectively.

Other cost of revenues increased by $14.9 million, or 23.8%, for the year ended December 31, 2021 compared to the year ended December 31, 2020, primarily as a result of increases of $5.8 million in employee related costs mostly from including four months of Connexity, $4.9 million in depreciation and amortization expenses mostly related to the amortization of the acquired intangible assets and $2.7 million in data centers and information systems costs.

Research and development expenses increased by $18.5 million, or 18.6%, the year ended December 31, 2021 compared to the year ended December 31, 2020, reflecting an increase of $20.3 million in employee related costs primarily attributable to share-based compensation expenses resulting from equity awards that vested upon going public, partially offset by a $3.0 million decrease in depreciation expenses.

Sales and marketing expenses increased by $72.3 million, or 54.1%, for the year ended December 31, 2021 compared to the year ended December 31, 2020, reflecting an increase of $49.6 million in employee related costs primarily attributable to the previously mentioned share-based compensation expenses resulting from equity awards that vested upon going public, an increase of $17.2 million in amortization expenses related to intangibles from the Connexity acquisition, and an increase of $5.3 million in marketing costs.

General and administrative expenses increased by $70.2 million, or 116.7%, for the year ended December 31, 2021 compared to the year ended December 31, 2020, primarily as a result of an increase of $56.8 million in employee related costs primarily attributable to the share-based compensation expenses resulting from equity awards that vested upon going public and an increase of $13.5 million related to M&A costs, legal consultants expenses related to regulatory matters and insurance expenses.

Finance income (expenses), net increased by $14.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2021 compared to the year ended December 31, 2020, primarily as a result of a $22.7 million devaluation of Warrants liability, partially offset by increases of $2.3 million in foreign currency exchange loss and $5.0 million in interest cost and expenses primarily related to the loan facility.

Income (loss) before income taxes decreased by $25.4 million, or 108.4%, for the year ended December 31, 2021 compared to the year ended December 31, 2020, primarily due to an increase of employee related costs of $132.5 million mostly attributable to the higher share-based compensation expenses resulting from equity awards that vested upon going public and the impact of consolidating Connexity’s employee related costs for four months, $19.2 million of additional depreciation and amortization expenses primarily from the Connexity intangibles amortization and $13.5 million related to M&A costs, legal consultants expenses related to regulatory matters and insurance expenses, partially offset by a $22.7 million devaluation of Warrants liability and $189.6 million increase in revenues offset by $53.1 million increase in traffic acquisition cost.

Tax expense increased by $8.0 million, or 53.7%, for the year ended December 31, 2021 compared to the year ended December 31, 2020 was driven by $4.4 million tax related to a special program initiated by the Israeli Tax Authority that allowed Israeli companies to release voluntarily tax-exempted earnings at a reduced tax rate, with the balance of the increase primarily due to non-deductible expenses associated with share options exercised with going public (i.e., share-based compensation expenses incurred as of vesting as a result of the triggering event of going public).

Comparison of the Years Ended December 31, 2020 and 2019

Revenues increased by $95.1 million, or 8.7%, for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019. New digital property partners within the first 12 months that were live on our network contributed approximately $84 million of new Revenues. Net growth of existing digital property partners, including the growth of new digital property partners (beyond the revenue contribution determined based on the run-rate revenue generated by them when they are first on-boarded), contributed approximately $11 million.

Gross Profit increased by $87.5 million, or 37.7%, for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019.

Ex-TAC Gross Profit, a non-GAAP measure, increased by $86.5 million, or 29.2%, for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019. Net growth of existing digital property partners, including the growth of new digital property partners (beyond the revenue contribution determined based on the run-rate revenue generated by them when they are first on-boarded), contributed a majority of the increase in ex-TAC Gross Profit. New digital property partners within the first 12 months that were live on our network contributed the remainder of the increase in revenues.

Cost of revenues increased by $7.5 million, or 0.9%, for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019.

Traffic acquisition cost increased by $8.5 million, or 1.1%, for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019, reflecting the increase in Revenues. Revenues increased at a faster pace than Traffic acquisition cost due to increased yield on digital properties with guarantee obligations and a mix shift to higher margin digital properties. The cost of guarantees (total payments due under guarantee arrangements in excess of amounts the Company would otherwise be required to pay under revenue sharing arrangements) as a percentage of traffic acquisition costs were 13% and 15% for the year ended December 31, 2020 and December 31, 2019, respectively.

Other cost of revenues decreased by $1.0 million, or 1.6%, for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019, primarily as a result of a decrease in our data center costs attributable to improved efficiencies, and lower depreciation and amortization expenses.

Research and development expenses increased by $14.7 million, or 17.4%, for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019, primarily as a result of an increase of $23.3 million in employee-related costs primarily attributable to higher compensation, partially offset by $3.5 million lower depreciation expenses, $3.2 million of higher capitalized costs related to new features and products and $1.9 million reduced IT related cost attributable to improved efficiencies.

Sales and marketing expenses increased by $3.4 million, or 2.6%, for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019, primarily as a result of an increase of $7.3 million in employee-related costs primarily attributable to higher compensation, partially offset by a decrease of $2.9 million in marketing event costs.

General and administrative expenses increased by $23.6 million, or 64.6%, for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019, primarily as a result of an increase of $11.0 million in acquisition related expenses related to our terminated acquisition of Outbrain in 2020, an increase of $6.9 million in employee-related costs primarily attributable to higher compensation and $2.2 million higher bad debt expenses.

Finance income (expenses), net decreased by $0.6 million, or 18.8%, for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019, primarily as a result of $1.8 million decrease in our foreign currency exchange loss, which was partially offset by $1.0 million increase in interest income from investments.

Income (loss) before income taxes increased by $46.5 million, or 201.8%, for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019, primarily due to increase in revenues of $95.1 million, partially offset by $37.5 increase in employee-related costs and $11.0 million of acquisition-related expenses related to the proposed strategic transaction with Outbrain Inc., which we elected not to consummate.

Tax expense increased by $9.9 million, or 199.1%, for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019, primarily driven by higher taxes in foreign jurisdictions of $9.8 million, and an increase in our uncertain tax positions of $1.7 million, partially offset by a decrease in valuation allowance for deferred tax assets of $1.2 million.


B.
Liquidity and Capital Resources

Our primary cash needs are for working capital, acquisitions, contractual obligations and other commitments. To date, we have financed our operations primarily through private equity financings and, more recently, through the net proceeds from the merger with ION, equity issuances and borrowings under a loan to fund a portion of the Connexity acquisition and cash provided by operations. For a description of the merger with ION and borrowings under a loan to fund a portion of the Connexity acquisition, see “Overview” section in this Item 5 above. We generated cash from operations of $63.5 million in 2021, $139.1 million in 2020 and $18.1 million in 2019.

As part of our growth strategy, we have made and expect to continue to make significant investments in research and development and in our technology platform. We also plan to consider possible future acquisitions. To fund our growth, depending on the magnitude and timing of our growth investments and the size and structure of any possible future acquisition, we may supplement our available cash from operations with issuances of equity or debt securities and/or make other borrowings, which could be material.

As of December 31, 2021, we had $319.3 million of cash and cash equivalents and $4.9 million in short and long term restricted deposits, used as security for our lease commitments. We believe that this, together with net proceeds from our engagements with advertisers, clients and digital property partners, will provide us with sufficient liquidity to meet our working capital and capital expenditure needs for at least the next 12 months. In the future, we may be required to obtain additional equity or debt financing in order to support our continued capital expenditures and operations. In the event that additional financing is required from outside sources, we may not be able to raise it on terms acceptable to us or at all. If we are unable to raise additional capital or generate cash flows necessary to expand our operations and invest in new technologies, this could reduce our ability to compete successfully and harm our business, growth, and results of operations.

In light of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, we are closely monitoring the effect that current economic conditions may have on our working capital requirements. To date, the pandemic has not had a material negative impact on our cash flow or liquidity. We cannot provide any assurance regarding future possible COVID-19-related impacts on our business.

Our future capital requirements and the adequacy of available funds will depend on many factors, including those set forth under “Risk Factors.”

Cash Flows

The following table summarizes our cash flows for the periods indicated:

   
Year ended December 31,
 
   
2021
   
2020
   
2019
 
   
(dollars in thousands)
 
Cash Flow Data:
                 
Net cash provided by operating activities
 
$
63,521
   
$
139,087
   
$
18,056
 
Net cash provided by (used in) investing activities
   
(620,460
)
   
10,883
     
(47,466
)
Net cash provided by financing activities
   
631,127
     
2,603
     
991
 
Effect of exchange rate changed on cash
   
2,320
     
3,318
     
454
 
Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents
 
$
76,508
   
$
155,891
   
$
(27,965
)

Operating Activities

During the year ended December 31, 2021, Net cash provided by operating activities of $63.5 million was related to our net loss of $24.9 million adjusted by positive adjustments of non-cash charges of $156.5 million and net cash outflows of $68.0 million provided by changes in working capital.

The $156.5 million of non-cash charges primarily consisted of depreciation and amortization of $53.1 million and share-based compensation expense related to vested equity awards of $128.0 million mostly triggered by going public, partially offset by $22.7 million of Warrants liability devaluation.

The $68.0 million decrease in cash resulting from changes in working capital primarily consisted of a $64.9 million increase in prepaid expenses and other current assets and long-term prepaid expenses, $40.1 million increase in trade receivables, partially offset by a $23.9 million increase in trade payables and an increase in accrued expenses and other current liabilities of $16.2 million. The change in working capital was primarily driven primarily by higher prepayments to our digital property partners due to the timing of renewals and higher guarantee compensation which we returned to in the fourth quarter of 2020 with certain of our digital property partners but paid during the first quarter of 2021 after agreeing with them to undo the 100% revenue share arrangement, reinstate the original payment terms, and receive payments, retroactively, of the guarantee under the original compensation terms.

During the year ended December 31, 2020, Net cash provided by operating activities of $139.1 million was due to our net income of $8.5 million and positive adjustments for non-cash charges of $59.4 million and net cash inflows of $71.2 million provided by changes in working capital.

The $59.4 million of non-cash charges primarily consisted of depreciation and amortization of $34.0 million and share-based compensation of $28.3 million which were partially offset by an aggregate of $(3.3) million of finance expenses.

The $71.2 million increase in cash resulting from changes in working capital primarily consisted of a $34.3 million increase in accrued expenses and other current liabilities, $23.4 million increase in trade payables, a $18.0 million decrease in other current assets (including prepaid expenses) and a $2.1 million increase due to changes in operating lease liabilities and right of use assets, partially offset by a $(3.3) million increase in account receivables and decrease of $(3.3) million deferred tax assets . The changes in working capital were driven by increased payables due to the growth in operation, improved collections and higher employee compensation.

During the year ended December 31, 2019, Net cash provided by operating activities of $18.1 million was primarily due to our net loss of $(28.0) million and positive adjustments for non-cash charges of $47.0 million and net cash outflows of $(0.9) million used by changes in working capital.

The $47.0 million non-cash charges primarily consisted of depreciation and amortization of $39.4 million and share-based compensation of $8.3 million, which were partially offset by finance expenses and accrued interest of $0.6 million.

The $(0.7) million increase in cash resulting from changes in working capital primarily consisted of a $31.6 million increase in trade payables, a $5.2 million increase in accrued expenses and other current liabilities and a $2.6 million increase due to changes in operating lease liabilities and right of use assets, which were offset by a $(24.8) million decrease in other current assets (including prepaid expenses) and a $(15.3) million increase in account receivables. The change in working capital was primarily driven by increased revenues, timing of collections and our strategic decision to offer enhanced guarantee obligations to attract certain new digital properties.

In our 2021 financial statements, we reclassified amounts associated with changes in deferred taxes from non-cash charges to changes in working capital. Prior period financial information has been reclassified to conform with the current period presentation.

Investing Activities

During the year ended December 31, 2021, Net cash used for investing activities was $620.5 million, primarily consisting of $583.5 million of cash paid in connection with Connexity acquisition, net of cash acquired and of $39.1 million of purchases of property and equipment, including capitalized internal-use software.

During the year ended December 31, 2020, Net cash provided by investing activities was $10.9 million, primarily consisting of $29.0 million of proceeds from short-term and restricted deposits partially offset by $17.8 million purchases of property and equipment, including capitalized internal-use software.

During the year ended December 31, 2019, Net cash used for investing activities was $47.5 million, consisting of $44.3 million purchases of property and equipment, including capitalized internal-use software and $4.0 million business acquisition, partially offset by $0.8 million of proceeds from short term investments and restricted deposits.

Financing Activities

During the year ended December 31, 2021, Net cash provided by financing activities was $631.1 million, resulting, mainly, from $339.3 million proceeds received from the ION merger and related transactions for the issuance of shares and Warrants net of offering costs, and $288.0 million proceeds from long-term loan, net of debt issuance cost and repayments.

During the year ended December 31, 2020, Net cash provided by financing activities was $2.6 million, resulting from proceeds received from share option exercises.

During the year ended December 31, 2019, Net cash provided by financing activities was $1.0 million, resulting from proceeds received from share option exercises.

Contractual Obligations

The following table discloses aggregate information about material contractual obligations and the periods in which they are due as of December 31, 2021. Future events could cause actual payments to differ from these estimates.

   
Contractual Obligations by Period
 
   
2022
   
2023
   
2024
   
2025
   
2026
   
Thereafter
 
   
(dollars in thousands)
 
Debt Obligations
 
$
3,000
   
$
3,000
   
$
3,000
   
$
3,000
   
$
3,000
   
$
284,250
 
Operating Leases(1)
 
$
18,542
   
$
14,865
   
$
14,115
   
$
12,304
   
$
12,610
   
$
18,843
 
Non-cancellable purchase obligations(2)
 
$
7,663
   
$
4,147
   
$
2,161
   
$
-
   
$
-
   
$
-
 
Total Contractual Obligations
 
$
29,205
   
$
22,012
   
$
19,276
   
$
15,304
   
$
15,610
   
$
303,093
 


(1)
Represents future minimum lease commitments under non-cancellable operating lease agreements.
 

(2)
Primarily represents non-cancelable amounts for contractual commitments in respect of software and information technology.

The commitment amounts in the table above are associated with contracts that are enforceable and legally binding and that specify all significant terms, including fixed or minimum services to be used, fixed, minimum or variable price provisions, and the approximate timing of the actions under the contracts. The table does not include obligations under agreements that we can cancel without a significant penalty. The table above does not reflect any reduction for prepaid obligations as of December 31, 2021. As of December 31, 2021, we have a provision related to unrecognized tax benefit liabilities totaling $3.1 million and other provisions related to severance pay and contribution plans, which have been excluded from the table above as we do not believe it is practicable to make reliable estimates of the periods in which payments for these obligations will be made.

Other Commercial Commitments

In the ordinary course of our business, we enter into agreements with certain digital properties, under which, in some cases we agree to pay them a guaranteed amount, generally per thousand page views on a monthly basis. These agreements could cause a gross loss on digital property accounts in which the guarantee is higher than the actual revenue generated. These contracts generally range in duration from 2 to 5 years, though some can be shorter or longer. These contracts are not included in the table above.

Recent Accounting Pronouncements

See the section titled “Summary of Significant Accounting Policies” in Note 2 of the notes to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report for more information.
 

C.
Research and Development, Patents and Licenses, Etc.

We view research and development expenditures as investments that help grow our business over time. These investments are primarily in the form of employee salaries and related expenditures and hardware infrastructure. One category of these investments relates to product innovations that extend the capabilities of our current product offerings and help us expand into completely new markets. This includes heavy investment in AI (specifically Deep Learning) in the form of server purchases and expenses for data scientists. This category of investment is important to maintain the growth of the business but can also generally be adjusted up or down based on management’s perception of the potential value of different investment options. Another category of investments are those that are necessary to maintain our core business. These investments include items such as purchasing servers and other infrastructure necessary to handle increasing loads of recommendations that need to be served, as well as the people necessary to maintain the value delivered to our customers and digital property partners, such as investments in code maintenance for our existing products. This type of investment scales at a slower rate than the growth of our core business.

Historically, we have not patented our proprietary technology in order to keep our technology architecture, trade secrets, and engineering roadmap private; however, as of December 31, 2021, we own approximately twenty issued patents.

For further information on our research and development policies, see “Risk Factors” in Item 3.D above and “Business Overview” in Item 4.B above.
 

D.
Trend Information

The global advertising industry has historically been characterized by seasonal trends that also apply to the digital advertising ecosystem in which we operate. In particular, advertisers have historically spent relatively more in the fourth quarter of the calendar year to coincide with the year-end holiday shopping season, and relatively less in the first quarter. We expect these seasonality trends to continue, and our operating results will be affected by those trends with revenue and margins being seasonally strongest in the fourth quarter and seasonally weakest in the first quarter.

For further information, see the Risk Factors described in Item 3.D above, the “Overview” and “Operating Results” sections of this Item 5 - “Operating and Financial Review and Prospects” and Item 4 - “Information on the Company” above.
 

E.
Critical Accounting Estimates

Our discussion and analysis of financial condition results of operations are based upon our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report. The preparation of our consolidated financial statements in accordance with GAAP requires us to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenue and expenses. We base our estimates on past experience and other assumptions that we believe are reasonable under the circumstances, and we evaluate these estimates on an ongoing basis. Actual results may differ from those estimates.

Our critical accounting policies are those that materially affect our consolidated financial statements and involve difficult, subjective or complex judgments by management. A thorough understanding of these critical accounting policies is essential when reviewing our consolidated financial statements. We believe that the critical accounting policies listed below involve the most difficult management decisions because they require the use of significant estimates and assumptions as described above.

See Note 2 of Notes to our audited consolidated financial statements.

Revenue Recognition

We recognize revenues when we transfer control of promised services directly to our customers, which we collectively refer to as our Advertisers, in an amount that reflects the consideration to which we expect to be entitled to in exchange for those services.
 
The determination of whether revenue should be reported gross of amounts billed to Advertisers (gross basis) or net of payments to digital properties partners (net basis) requires significant judgment and is based on management assessment of whether we are acting as the principal or an agent in the transaction. In this assessment, we consider if we obtain control of the specified goods or services before they are transferred to the customer, as well as other indicators such as the party primarily responsible for fulfillment, inventory risk, and discretion in establishing price. The assessment of whether we are considered the principal or the agent in a transaction could impact our revenue and cost of revenue recognized on the consolidated statements of income.

Internal-Use Software Development Costs

Costs incurred to develop internal-use software are capitalized and amortized over the estimated useful life of the software, which is generally three years. In accordance with ASC Topic. 350-40, “Internal-Use Software”, capitalization of costs to develop internal-use software begins when preliminary development efforts are successfully completed, we have committed project funding and it is probable that the project will be completed, and the software will be used as intended. Costs related to the design or maintenance of internal-use software are expensed as incurred.

We periodically review internal-use software costs to determine whether the projects will be completed, placed in service, removed from service, or replaced by other internally developed or third-party software. If the asset is not expected to provide any future benefit, the asset is retired, and any unamortized cost is expensed.
 
When events or changes in circumstances require, we assess the likelihood of recovering the cost of internal-use software. If the net book value is not expected to be fully recoverable, internal-use software would be impaired to its fair value. Measurement of any impairment loss is based on the excess of the carrying value of the asset over the fair value.

Warrants Liability

We evaluated the Public Warrants and Private Warrants (collectively “Warrants”) in accordance with ASC 815-40, ‘‘Derivatives and Hedging — Contracts in Entity’s Own Equity,’’ and concluded the Warrants to be recorded as derivative liabilities. Warrants recorded as liabilities are recorded at their fair value and remeasured on each reporting date with changes in estimated fair value of ordinary share warrant liability in the consolidated statement of income (loss).

In evaluating Private Warrants, we, with the assistance of third-party valuations, utilize the Black-Scholes valuation model to estimate the fair value of these warrants at each reporting date. The application of the Black-Scholes model utilizes significant assumptions, including volatility. Significant judgment is required in determining the expected volatility of our ordinary share. Due to the limited history of trading of our Ordinary Shares, we determined expected volatility based on a peer group of publicly traded companies. Increases (decreases) in the assumptions result in a directionally similar impact to the fair value of the ordinary share warrant liability.

Share-Based Compensation

We recognize the cost of share-based awards granted to employees and directors based on the estimated grant-date fair value of the awards. We elected to recognize share-based compensation costs on a straight-line method for awards subject to graded vesting based only on a service condition and the accelerated method for awards that are subject to a performance condition. The compensation expense associated with performance based RSUs is adjusted based on the probability in achieving performance targets. Forfeitures are accounted for as they occur.
 
The fair value of each option award is estimated on the grant date using the Black-Scholes option pricing model. which is impacted by the following assumptions:

Fair Value of our Ordinary Shares. For periods after our shares began trading on June 30, 2021, the fair value of our shares is determined by the closing price of our Ordinary Shares as reported on the date of grant. For periods prior to our public listing, the fair value was determined by our board of directors, with input from management and valuation reports prepared by third-party valuation specialists.

Risk-Free Interest Rate. The risk-free rate for the expected term of the options is based on the Black-Scholes option-pricing model on the yields of U.S. Treasury securities with maturities appropriate for the expected term of employee share option awards.
 
Expected Term. The expected term represents the period that options are expected to be outstanding. We determine the expected term using the simplified method. The simplified method deems the term to be the average of the time-to-vesting and the contractual life of the options.
 
Expected Volatility. Since we had no trading history of our Ordinary Shares, the expected volatility was derived from the average historical share volatilities based on a peer group of public companies over a period equivalent to the option’s expected term.
 
Expected Dividend Yield. We have never declared or paid any cash dividends and do not presently plan to pay cash dividends in the foreseeable future. As a result, an expected dividend yield of zero percent was used.

Ordinary Shares Valuations

For periods after our shares began trading on June 30, 2021, the fair value of our shares is determined by the closing price of our Ordinary Shares as reported on the date of the grant.  For periods prior to our public listing, the fair value of our Ordinary Shares underlying our equity awards was determined by our board of directors, after considering contemporaneous third-party valuations and input from management.

In valuing our Ordinary Shares, absent an arm’s-length current/recent round of financing, the fair value of our business, or equity value, was determined using both the income approach and market approach. The income approach estimates value based on the expectation of future cash flows that the company will generate. These future cash flows are discounted to their present values using a discount rate based on the capital rates of return for comparable publicly traded companies and is adjusted to reflect the risks inherent in the company’s cash flows relative to those inherent in the companies utilized in the discount rate calculation. The market approach estimates value based on a comparison of the company to comparable public companies in a similar line of business
 
 We used the Hybrid method which is the combination of Probability Weighted Expected Return Method (“PWERM”) and option pricing method (“OPM”) to determine our Ordinary Share value.
 
The PWERM involves the estimation of the value of our company under multiple future potential outcomes and estimates the probability of each potential outcome. The per-share value of our Ordinary Shares as determined through the PWERM was ultimately based upon probability-weighted per share values resulting from the various future scenarios, which include an initial public offering and continued operation as a private company.
 
The OPM allocates the overall company value in one of the scenarios to the various share classes based on differences in liquidation preferences, participation rights, dividend policy, and conversion rights, using a series of call options.
 
 After the value for our Ordinary Shares was determined, a discount for lack of marketability (“DLOM”) was applied to arrive at the fair value of our Ordinary Shares on a non-marketable basis. A DLOM is applied in order to reflect the lack of a recognized market for a closely held interest and the fact that a non-controlling equity interest may not be readily transferable. A market participant purchasing this share would recognize this illiquidity associated with the shares, which would reduce the overall fair market value.

Business Combinations
 
Accounting for business combinations requires us to make significant estimates and assumptions in determining the fair values of assets acquired and liabilities assumed, especially with respect to intangible assets. Critical estimates in valuing the acquired intangible assets include, but are not limited to, the appropriate valuation methodology and the prospective financial information underlying the valuation, e.g., projected revenues, revenues growth rates, operating margins including the appropriate weighted-average cost of capital. Although we believe the assumptions and estimates we have made in the past have been reasonable and appropriate, they are based, in part, on historical experience and information obtained from management of the acquired companies and are inherently uncertain.

Income Taxes

We are subject to income taxes in Israel, the U.S., and other foreign jurisdictions. Significant judgment is required in determining the provision for income taxes and income tax assets and liabilities, including evaluating uncertainties in the application of accounting principles and complex tax laws. We recognize and measure benefits for uncertain tax positions using a two-step approach. The first step is to determine whether it is more likely than not that a tax position will be sustained upon examination, including the resolution of any related appeals or litigation based on the technical merits of that position. The second step is to measure a tax position that meets the more-likely-than-not threshold to determine the amount of benefit to be recognized in the financial statements. We evaluate uncertain tax positions on a quarterly basis, based upon a number of factors, including changes in facts or circumstances, changes in tax law, correspondence with tax authorities during the course of audits, and effective settlement of audit issues.

Significant judgment is also required in determining any valuation allowance against deferred tax assets. In assessing whether it is more likely than not that some portion or all of the deferred tax assets will not be realized, we consider all available evidence, including projected future taxable income, tax planning strategies, and past operating results. In the event that we change our determination, we will adjust our valuation allowance with a corresponding impact to the provision for income taxes in the period in which such determination is made.

Item 6.
Directors, Senior Management and Employees
 

A.
Directors and Senior Management
 
The following table sets forth the name and position of each of our executive officers and directors as of March 22, 2022:
 
Name
Age
Position
Adam Singolda
40
Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Director
Eldad Maniv
53
President and Chief Operating Officer
Lior Golan
51
Chief Technology Officer
Stephen Walker
52
Chief Financial Officer
Kristy Sundjaja
44
Senior Vice President, People Operations
Zvi Limon
63
Chairman of the Board
Erez Shachar
58
Director
Nechemia J. Peres
63
Director
Richard Scanlon
52
Director
Deirdre Bigley
57
Director
Lynda Clarizio
61
Director
Gilad Shany
45
Director

Executive Officers

Adam Singolda has been the Chief Executive Officer, as well as a director, of Taboola since it began operations in 2007. He also serves as a member of the board of directors of K Health, the healthcare startup he co-founded in 2016. Prior to that Mr. Singolda studied Computer Science at The Open University of Israel and spent 6½ years serving in an advanced cyber technology unit of the Israel Defense Forces, serving as a research and development engineer and manager. He graduated IDF officers’ academy with honors. Mr. Singolda’s experience as the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Taboola makes him exceptionally well qualified to serve on our board of directors.

Eldad Maniv has been the President and Chief Operating Officer of Taboola since 2012. Mr. Maniv leads Taboola’s worldwide operations including Taboola’s sales, professional services, and human resources organizations. Mr. Maniv has spent approximately two decades building technology companies in the United States and Israel, having previously served in executive positions at BMC Software, Zend Technologies, and Identify Software. Earlier in his career, he founded NextNine which was acquired by Honeywell. Mr. Manix currently serves as a director on the boards of directors of Verbit.ai and YouAppi. Mr. Maniv holds a B.S. degree from the Talpiot program at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and served five years as a systems engineering officer in an intelligence unit of the Israel Defense Forces.

Lior Golan has been Chief Technology Officer of Taboola since 2009 and is responsible for Taboola’s product and technical strategy worldwide. Prior to joining Taboola, Mr. Golan was co-founder, Chief Technology Officer, and Vice President of Research & Development of Cyota, a leader in consumer Internet security. After Cyota was acquired by RSA Security in 2005, Mr. Golan spent two years as Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Strategy of the RSA Security Consumer Division and was responsible for leading the product and business direction of its consumer business. Mr. Golan holds a B.S. degree from the Talpiot program at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and served eight years in an intelligence unit of the Israel Defense Forces.

Stephen Walker has been Chief Financial Officer for Taboola since June 2020. Prior to that, he served as Taboola’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales Operations from 2015 to 2020 and as the General Manager of Taboola-X product between 2014 and 2015. From 2007 until 2014, he served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Perfect Market, until it was acquired by Taboola. Earlier, Mr. Walker held positions in Idealab’s New Ventures Group and led several of Idealab’s portfolio companies. Mr. Walker has a B.S. degree in Computer Science and Finance from Boston College and an M.B.A degree from Harvard Business School.

Kristy Sundjaja has been Senior Vice President of People Operations for Taboola since 2019. Effective February 22, 2022 Ms. Sundjaja became our Chief People Officer. Prior to joining Taboola in 2017, she co-founded Exceptional Artists Foundation, a non-profit organization empowering the disabled community, and remains as its President. From 2012 to 2017, Ms. Sundjaja was the Chief of Staff and the Global Head of People at LivePerson. Between 2009 and 2012, Ms. Sundjaja was the Head of Industry Transformation Teams at New York City Economic Development Corporation. Prior to that, Ms. Sundjaja was an Associate Partner at Oliver Wyman where she worked between 1999 and 2009. Ms. Sundjaja graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. degree in Economics from the Wharton School and a B.S. degree and an M.S. degree in Engineering. She also holds an M.B.A degree from Columbia University.

Directors

Zvi Limon has sat on Taboola’s board of directors since 2007 and served as its Chairman since 2018. Mr. Limon is a General Partner and co-founder of Magma Venture Partners. He has been an active investor in public and private technology companies in Israel and abroad since 1990. Prior to that, Mr. Limon was a management consultant at Bain & Co. in London and Shaldor Ltd. in Israel. He is also an experienced board member of various public and private companies. Mr. Limon holds an M.B.A degree from the INSEAD Business School and a B.A. in Business Administration and Economics from Bar Ilan University. Mr. Limon brings extensive experience to our board of directors, due to his years of providing strategic and investment advisory services to companies and his deep understanding of our company from his years of service on our board of directors.

Erez Shachar has sat on Taboola’s board of directors since 2007. Mr. Shachar is the co-founder and managing partner of Qumra Capital Management Ltd., a venture capital firm founded in 2014. Since 2004, Mr. Shachar has also served as managing partner of Evergreen Venture Partners Ltd., a venture capital firm, focusing on investment opportunities in technology companies. Mr. Shachar has served as a member of the board of directors of Fiverr, Varonis Systems, Peer 39, Traiana Inc., Identify, Itemfield Inc., eGlue Business Technologies Inc., and Aduva Inc. Also, as of December 31, 2021, Mr. Shachar serves as a member of the board of directors of Riskified Ltd. (NYSE: RSKD) and several private companies, including Talkspace. Prior to his Venture Capital career, Mr. Shachar was the Chief Executive Officer of Nur Macroprinters, (Nasdaq: NURM) which was acquired by HP. Mr. Shachar holds a B.S. degree in Math and Computer Science from Tel Aviv University and an M.B.A. from the INSEAD Business School. Mr. Shachar brings to our board of directors, due to his extensive experience providing strategic and investment advisory services to companies, his understanding of our company acquired during his years of service on our board of directors, and his experience as a board of directors member of various public and private companies.

Nechemia J. Peres has sat on Taboola’s board of directors since 2013. Mr. Peres is the managing general partner and co-founder of Pitango Venture Capital, Israel’s largest venture capital group since its inception in 1996. Mr. Peres serves on the boards of directors of numerous Pitango portfolio companies. Mr. Peres also founded the Mofet Israel Technology Fund in 1992, one of Israel’s first venture capital funds. Mr. Peres is chairman of the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation. He co-founded and chaired the Israel Venture Association (IATI—Israel Advanced Technology Industries) and he chaired the Israel America Chamber of Commerce from 2008 to 2011. He received a Bachelor of Science in industrial engineering and management and an M.B.A. degree from Tel Aviv University. Mr. Peres’ extensive experience providing strategic and investment advisory services to companies, his understanding of our company acquired during his years of service on our board of directors, and his experience as a board member of various public and private companies brings value to our board of directors.

Richard (Rick) Scanlon has sat on Taboola’s board of directors since 2018 and has been an investor in our company since 2011. Mr. Scanlon is a founding partner of Innovation Endeavors which merged with Marker LLC in 2017, a New York and Israel-based venture capital firm he founded in 2011. At Marker LLC, Mr. Scanlon invested in a number of industry leading high-growth technology companies including Yext, Datorama, Dynamic Yield, Yotpo, Team8, Overwolf, Tufin, and Taboola. Prior to founding Marker LLC, Mr. Scanlon was a managing partner at Crescent Point, a Singapore-based venture and private equity firm he co-founded in 2003. Earlier in his career, Mr. Scanlon was an investment banker at Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse. He earned a B.A. degree from Middlebury College, where he is currently a member of the Middlebury College Board of Trustees. Mr. Scanlon’s extensive experience providing strategic and investment advisory services to companies, his understanding of our company acquired during his years of service on our board of directors, and his experience as a board of directors member of various public and private companies make him a valuable asset to our board.

Deirdre Bigley has sat on Taboola’s board of directors since April 2021. Ms. Bigley joined Bloomberg, L.P., a global business and financial information and news leader, in 2009 and served as the Chief Marketing Officer from 2013 to 2021. Prior to joining Bloomberg, L.P., Ms. Bigley spent thirteen years at International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), serving in several capacities, including Vice President of Worldwide Advertising and Interactive, and Vice President of Worldwide Brand. Ms. Bigley serves on the boards of directors of: Shutterstock, Inc. (NYSE: SSTK) a global supplier of commercial imagery, video and music since May 2016; Wix.com Ltd. (Nasdaq: WIX), a cloud based development platform, since November 2017; and Sportradar Group AG (Nasdaq: SRAD), a sports betting and sports entertainment company, since April, 2021. Ms. Bigley holds a B.A. in English from West Chester University. Ms. Bigley’s extensive marketing leadership experience, together with her corporate background, enable her to advise our board of directors on key strategic and operational issues.

Lynda Clarizio has sat on Taboola’s board of directors since April 2021. Ms. Clarizio has over 20 years of experience in the media industry growing and scaling businesses with a focus on data and technology. She is the co-founder of Brilliant Friends Investing, a seed investment group of C-suite women funding women-led businesses, and is a Strategic Advisor to VidMob, Inc., a marketing creative platform. Ms. Clarizio previously served as President of U.S. Media at Nielsen Holdings plc, a global measurement and data analytics company, where she worked from 2013 to 2018. From 2012 to 2013 she served as Executive Vice President, Corporate Development and Operations of AppNexus, Inc., a programmatic advertising platform. From 2009 to 2012, Ms. Clarizio served as Chief Executive Officer and President of InVision, Inc., a provider of multi-platform advertising solutions. From 1999 to 2009, she held a variety of executive positions with AOL Inc., a media technology company, including President of Platform-A (AOL’s global advertising business) and President of Advertising.com (an AOL subsidiary). Prior to joining AOL, Ms. Clarizio was a partner in the Washington, DC law firm Arnold & Porter, where she practiced law from 1987 through 1999. Ms. Clarizio is a member of the boards of directors of CDW Corporation, Intertek Group plc, Emerald Holding, Inc., Simpli.fi Holdings, Resonate and Cambri and is the Vice-Chair of Human Rights First. She is a graduate of Princeton University, where she earned an A.B., and of Harvard Law School, where she earned a J.D. Ms. Clarizio’s extensive media and data analytics industry leadership experience, together with her corporate development and legal background, enable her to advise our board of directors on key strategic and operational issues.

Gilad Shany has sat on Taboola’s board of directors since June 2021. In 2018, Mr. Shany co-founded ION Crossover Partners Ltd., an Israeli-based crossover fund, where he currently serves as the Managing Partner. Prior to co-founding ION Crossover Partners, Mr. Shany served as General Partner of Magma Venture Partners. He previously served as Vice President of Baron Capital, where he gained over 10 years of experience investing in innovative growth companies in public and private markets. He led investments with various international companies, including Tesla Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA), Mobileye NV (acquired by Intel $15.3BN), Mellanox Technologies (acquired by NVIDIA $6.9BN), Varonis Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: VRNS), Fiverr (NYSE: FVRR) and Monday.com (Nasdaq: MNDY), among others. Prior to that Mr. Shany spent 14 years with the Israel Air Force and served as Head of Aerial Defense in the Israel Air Force from 2007 to 2008. Mr. Shany holds a B.S. degree in Physics, Astronomy, and Philosophy from Tel Aviv University in Israel. Mr. Shany also holds an M.B.A from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Shany’s extensive experience as an executive and investor, together with his educational background, make him a valuable asset to our board of directors.

Family Relationships

There are no family relationships between any of our executive officers and our directors.

Arrangements for Election of Directors and Members of Management

There are no arrangements or understandings with major shareholders or others pursuant to which any of our executive officers or directors are selected.
 

B.
Compensation

Directors

Under the Companies Law, the compensation of a public company’s directors requires the approval of (i) its compensation committee, (ii) its board of directors and, unless exempted under regulations promulgated under the Companies Law, (iii) the approval of its shareholders at a general meeting. In addition, if the compensation of a public company’s directors is inconsistent with the company’s compensation policy, then those inconsistent provisions must be separately considered by the compensation committee and board of directors, and approved by the shareholders by a special vote in one of the following two ways:
 

at least a majority of the shares held by all shareholders who are not controlling shareholders and do not have a personal interest in such matter, present and voting at such meeting, vote in favor of the inconsistent provisions of the compensation package, excluding abstentions; or
 

the total number of shares of non-controlling shareholders and shareholders who do not have a personal interest in such matter voting against the inconsistent provisions of the compensation package does not exceed two percent (2%) of the aggregate voting rights in the Company.

Executive Officers other than the Chief Executive Officer

The Companies Law requires the compensation of a public company’s office holders (other than the chief executive officer) be approved in the following order: (i) the compensation committee, (ii) the company’s board of directors, and (iii) if such compensation arrangement is inconsistent with the company’s stated compensation policy, the company’s shareholders (by a special vote as discussed above with respect to the approval of director compensation).

However, there are exceptions to the foregoing approval requirements with respect to non-director office holders. If the shareholders of the company do not approve the compensation of a non-director office holder, the compensation committee and board of directors may override the shareholders’ disapproval for such non-director office holder provided that the compensation committee and the board of directors each document the basis for their decision to override the disapproval of the shareholders and approve the compensation.

An amendment to an existing compensation arrangement with a non-director office holder requires only the approval of the compensation committee, if the compensation committee determines that the amendment is immaterial. However, if the non-director office holder is subordinate to the chief executive officer, an amendment to an existing compensation arrangement shall not require the approval of the compensation committee if (i) the amendment is approved by the chief executive officer, (ii) the company’s compensation policy allows for such immaterial amendments to be approved by the chief executive officer and (iii) the engagement terms are consistent with the company’s compensation policy.

Chief Executive Officer

Under the Companies Law, the compensation of a public company’s chief executive officer is required to be approved by: (i) the company’s compensation committee, (ii) the company’s board of directors and (iii) the company’s shareholders (by a special vote as discussed above with respect to the approval of director compensation). However, if the shareholders of the company do not approve the compensation arrangement with the chief executive officer, the compensation committee and board of directors may override the shareholders’ decision provided that they each document the basis for their decision and the compensation is in accordance with the company’s compensation policy.

In the case of a new chief executive officer, the compensation committee may waive the shareholder approval requirement with regard to the compensation of a candidate for the chief executive officer position if the compensation committee determines that: (i) the compensation arrangement is consistent with the company’s compensation policy, (ii) the chief executive officer candidate did not have a prior business relationship with the company or a controlling shareholder of the company and (iii) subjecting the approval of the engagement to a shareholder vote would impede the company’s ability to employ the chief executive officer candidate. However, if the chief executive officer candidate will serve as a member of the board of directors, such candidate’s compensation terms as chief executive officer must be approved in accordance with the rules applicable to approval of compensation of directors.

Compensation of Executive Officers and Directors

The aggregate compensation, including share-based compensation, paid by us and our subsidiaries to our executive officers and directors as a group for the year ended December 31, 2021 was approximately $98.7 million. As discussed below, this amount is primarily attributable to share-based compensation expenses resulting from equity awards that vested upon going public. It includes deferred or contingent compensation accrued for 2021 (and excludes deferred or contingent compensation accrued during the prior year which were paid in 2021). The 2021 aggregate compensation does not include any amount set aside or accrued to provide pension, severance, retirement or similar benefits or expenses, nor does it include business travel, relocation, professional and business association dues and expenses reimbursed to office holders, and other benefits commonly reimbursed or paid by companies in Israel.

As of December 31, 2021, options to purchase 15,789,817 Ordinary Shares granted to our executive officers and directors as a group were outstanding under our equity incentive plans at a weighted average exercise price of $2.05 per ordinary share. As of December 31, 2021, 12,174,342 restricted share units granted to our executive officers were outstanding under our equity incentive plans at a weighted average exercise price of $0.02 per ordinary share. Of these outstanding restricted share units, as of December 31, 2021, a total of 8,576,280 vested according to their terms due to the closing of the Business Combination.

We currently pay each of our non-employee directors a board annual retainer of $35,000 (or $110,000 for the chairperson), with additional annual payment for service on board committees as follows: $10,000 (or $20,000 for the chairperson) per membership of the audit committee, $7,500 (or $15,000 for the chairperson) per membership of the compensation committee and $3,000 (or $7,500 for the chairperson) per membership of the nominating and governance committee or any other board committee.
 
In addition, upon election or appointment, non-employee directors will be granted with restricted share unit award under our equity incentive plan at a value of $360,000, which will vest over a period of one year, and thereafter, provided the director is still in office, an annual restricted share unit award of $180,000, which will vest over a period of one year.

The following is a summary of the salary expenses and social benefit costs of our five most highly compensated executive officers in 2021, or the Covered Executives. All amounts reported reflect the cost to Taboola as recognized in our financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2021. All Covered Executives listed are our full-time employees. Cash compensation amounts denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar were converted into U.S. dollars at the average conversion rate for 2021. U.S. dollar amounts indicated for compensation of our Covered Executives are in thousands of dollars.

Mr. Adam Singolda, Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Director. Compensation expenses recorded in 2021 of $590.0 in salary expenses, $318.2 in social benefit costs.

Mr. Eldad Maniv, President and Chief Operating Officer. Compensation expenses recorded in 2021 of $461.8 in salary expenses, and ($76.8) in social benefit costs.

Mr. Lior Golan, Chief Technology Officer. Compensation expenses recorded in 2021 of $461.8 in salary expenses, and ($228.7) in social benefit costs.

Mr. Stephen Walker, Chief Financial Officer. Compensation expenses recorded in 2021 of $426.1 in salary expenses, and $103.7 in social benefit costs.

Ms. Kristy Sundjaja, Senior Vice President, People Operations. Compensation expenses recorded in 2021 of $326.1 in salary expenses, and $60.4 in social benefit costs.

The salary expenses summarized above are in terms of cost to us, as recorded in our financial statements, and include the gross salary paid to the Covered Executives, and the benefit costs include social benefits paid by us on behalf of the Covered Executives, convalescence pay, contributions made by the company to an insurance policy or a pension fund, work disability insurance, vacation, severance, educational fund, medicare taxes, payments for social security and expenses reimbursed to the Covered Executives.

In accordance with our compensation policy, we also paid cash bonuses to our Covered Executives for attaining predetermined performance parameters and an over achievement bonus as set by the compensation committee and the board of directors. These amounts were provided for in our 2021 financial statements (but will be paid during 2022). The 2021 cash bonus expenses for Mr. Singolda, Mr. Maniv, Mr. Golan, Mr. Walker, and Ms. Sundjaja were $825, $525.0, $525.0, $614.0 and $233.8, respectively. In addition to these cash bonuses, Mr. Maniv and Mr. Golan were awarded one-time bonus payments of $500.0 and $500.0 respectively.

We recorded equity-based compensation expenses in our financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2021, for options and restricted share units granted to Mr. Singolda, Mr. Maniv, Mr. Golan, Mr. Walker, and Ms. Sundjaja of $35,111.7, $34,411.8, $17,263.7, $3,867.0 and $1,095.0, respectively. The restricted share unit grants issued to these Covered Executives generally had two separate conditions, both of which had to be met for them to vest: (1) performance or, service time-based vesting, and (2) a qualified initial public offering or a specified equivalent event. A majority of the shares had met the first vesting condition in years prior to 2021 but were only expensed in 2021 when the second condition was met upon going public. Assumptions and key variables used in the calculation of such amounts are described in Note 2 and 13 of Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements included elsewhere in this anual report. All equity-based compensation grants to our Covered Executives were made in accordance with the parameters of our compensation policy and were approved by our compensation committee and board of directors.

Employee Stock Purchase Plan
 
The Taboola.com, Ltd. Employee Stock Purchase Plan, or ESPP, became effective on June 28, 2021, which is the date determined by the committee appointed by our board of directors to administer the ESPP, or Committee. The ESPP provides our employees and employees of participating subsidiaries with an opportunity to acquire a proprietary interest in our company through the purchase of our Ordinary Shares. With respect to its employees in the United States, the ESPP is intended to qualify as an “employee stock purchase plan” under Section 423 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or Code, and the ESPP is interpreted in a manner that is consistent with that intent. However, in order to ensure our employees located in jurisdictions other than the United States may receive similar benefits under the ESPP, the Committee may, in its sole discretion, establish subplans to the ESPP that may not qualify under Section 423 of the Code.

Administration. Our ESPP is administered by the Committee, which have the authority to take any actions necessary or desirable for the administration of the ESPP, including adopting sub-plans applicable to particular participating subsidiaries or locations, which sub-plans may be designed to be outside the scope of Section 423 of the Code, or special rules applicable to participants in particular participating subsidiaries or particular locations. The Committee may change the minimum amounts of compensation (as defined in the ESPP) for payroll deductions, the frequency with which a participant may elect to change his or her rate of payroll deductions, the dates by which a participant is required to submit an enrollment form and the effective date of a participant’s withdrawal from the ESPP due to a termination or transfer of employment or change in employment status. The Committee may delegate some or all of its authority to the extent permitted by law to one or more officers of the Company or one or more committees of our board of directors.

Shares Reserved. As of December 31, 2021 the maximum number of our Ordinary Shares available for issuance under the ESPP is 6,386,580 Ordinary Shares. The share pool will be increased on the first day of each fiscal year during the term of the ESPP in an amount equal to the lesser of (i) 6,386,580 Ordinary Shares, (ii) 2% of the total number of shares of our common stock outstanding (on a fully diluted basis) on the last day of the immediately preceding fiscal year and (iii) such number of shares as determined by our board of directors in its discretion.

Eligibility. With respect to employees who qualify to participate in an “employee stock purchase plan” pursuant to Section 423 of the Code, unless otherwise determined by the Committee in a manner that is consistent with Section 423 of the Code, any employee of ours or a participating subsidiary who has been employed by us or a participating subsidiary for at least 6 months and is customarily employed for at least 20 hours per week and more than 5 months in any calendar year is eligible to participate in an offering period, subject to the requirements of Section 423 of the Code. An eligible employee will not be granted an option if such grant would result in the employee owning 5% or more of the total combined voting power or value of all classes of our and our subsidiaries’ stock or if such grant would permit the employee to purchase our and our subsidiaries’ stock at a rate that exceeds $25,000 of the fair market value of the stock for each calendar year in which such option is outstanding at any time. The Committee may also determine additional employees to participate in sub-plans that are not subject to Section 423 of the Code.

Offering Periods. Unless otherwise determined by the Committee, each offering period under the ESPP will have a duration of six months commencing on January 1st or July 1st.

Participation. Participation in the ESPP is voluntary. Eligible employees may elect to participate in the ESPP by completing an enrollment form and submitting it in accordance with the enrollment procedures established by the Committee, upon which the employee authorizes payroll deductions from his or her paycheck on each payroll date during the offering period in an amount equal to at least 1% but not more than 5% of his or her compensation.

Participants may decrease or increase their rate of payroll deductions only once during an offering period by submitting a new enrollment form which must be submitted at least fifteen (15) days before the purchase date (as defined in the ESPP). The deduction rate selected for an offering period will remain in effect for subsequent offering periods unless the participant (i) submits a new enrollment form authorizing a new rate of payroll deductions, (ii) withdraws from the ESPP or (iii) terminates employment or otherwise becomes ineligible to participate in the ESPP.

Grant and Exercise of Options. Each participant will be granted, on the first trading day of each offering period, an option to purchase, on the last trading day of the offering period, a number of shares of our Ordinary Shares determined by dividing the participants accumulated payroll deductions by the applicable purchase price. The purchase price for the option will equal to 85% of the fair market value of a share on the purchase date. A participants option will be exercised automatically on the purchase date to purchase the maximum number of whole Ordinary Shares that can be purchased with the amounts in the participant's notional account.

Withdrawal. Participants may withdraw from an offering at any time prior to the last day of the offering period by submitting a revised enrollment form indicating his or her election to withdraw at least fifteen (15) days before the purchase date. The accumulated payroll deductions held on behalf of the participant in his or her notional account will be paid to the participant promptly following receipt of the participant’s revised enrollment form indicating their election to withdraw, and the participants option will be automatically terminated.

Termination of Employment; Change in Employment Status; Transfer of Employment. On termination of a participants employment for any reason, or a change in the participants employment status following which the participant is no longer an eligible employee, the participant will be deemed to have withdrawn from the ESPP effective as of the date of such termination of employment or change in status, the accumulated payroll deductions remaining in the participants notional account will be returned to the participant, and the participants option will be automatically terminated.

Over-subscribed Offerings. If the Committee determines that, on a particular purchase date, the number of shares with respect to which options are to be exercised either exceeds the number of shares available under the ESPP, the shares will be allocated pro rata in a uniform manner as practicable and as the Committee deems equitable.

Adjustments Upon Changes in Capitalization; Corporate Transactions. In the event of any dividend or other distribution, recapitalization, share split, reorganization, merger, consolidation, spin-off, combination, repurchase, or exchange of shares or other securities of our company or other change in Taboola’s structure affecting our Ordinary Shares, then in order to prevent dilution or enlargement of the benefits intended to be made available under the ESPP, the Committee will make equitable adjustments to the number and class of shares that may be issued under the ESPP, the purchase price per share, and the number of shares covered by each outstanding option.

In the event of a corporate transaction (as defined in the ESPP), each outstanding option will be assumed (or an equivalent option substituted) by the successor corporation or a parent or subsidiary of such successor corporation. If the successor corporation refuses to assume or substitute such option, the offering period will be shortened by setting a new purchase date on which the offering period will end. The new purchase date for the offering period will occur before the date of the corporate transaction.

Dissolution or Liquidation. Unless otherwise determined by the Committee, in the event of a proposed dissolution or liquidation of our company, any offering period in progress will be shortened by setting a new purchase date and the offering period will end immediately prior to the proposed dissolution or liquidation. Participants will be provided with written notice of the new purchase date and that the participant’s option will be exercised automatically on such date, unless before such time, the participant has withdrawn from the offering.

Amendment and Termination. The Committee may, in its sole discretion, amend, suspend or terminate the ESPP at any time and for any reason. The Committee may elect, upon termination of the ESPP, to terminate any outstanding offering period either immediately or once shares have been purchased on the next purchase date or permit the offering period to expire in accordance with its terms.
 
Equity Incentive Plans
 
General

Authorized Shares. As of December 31, 2021, there are 27,584,474 Ordinary Shares reserved and available for issuance under the 2021 Plan. Ordinary shares subject to awards granted under under Taboola’s legacy share incentive plans described herein (excluding the 2021 Share Incentive Plan, or 2021 Plan, and the ESPP), or Legacy Plans, that expire or become unexercisable without having been exercised in full will become available again for future grant under the 2021 Plan. Following the effective date of the registration statement on Form F-4, Taboola ceased making any awards under the Legacy Plans, though previously granted awards under such plans remain outstanding and governed by the applicable plan.

Administration. Taboola’s board of directors, or a duly authorized committee of Taboola’s board of directors, administers each of the Legacy Plans and 2021 Plan, or collectively the Plans. Under the Plans , the administrator has the authority, subject to applicable law, to interpret the terms of the Plans and any notices of grant or options granted thereunder, designate recipients of option grants, determine and amend the terms of awards, including the exercise price of an option award, the fair market value of our ordinary share, the time and vesting schedule applicable to an option grant or the method of payment for an award, accelerate or amend the vesting schedule applicable to an option grant and the applicability of an early exercise mechanism and take all other actions and make all other determinations necessary for the administration of the Plans.

The administrator also has the authority to amend and rescind rules