Baidu’s investment comes just after Taboola raised $117 million in February. Singolda said conversations with Baidu started after that round was already complete.
Baidu has made other investments outside the United States, often focused on mobile: Japanese mobile emoji app Simeji and Finnish indoor mapping company IndoorAtlas. It’s also invested in Uber, Israeli startup Tonara (sheet music app) and Pixellot (video startup).
Although the investment will focus on finding opportunities for Taboola technology in China, Baidu plans to expand outside China as well. The MIT Technology Review wrote last year that the company plans to earn half its revenue outside China by 2020.
As Taboola starts to look at setting up operations in China, it’s also looking to other Asian markets, including India, which have huge populations and relatively low Internet penetration.
“Asia is ready for Internet tech advertising companies,” Singolda said, “and there are amazing companies ready to partner.”
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