What: Although it had announced plans to go public in 2014, Outbrain has added US $35 million in its latest fundraising round, bringing its overall investment to US $99M, thus staying ahead of the content recommendation business.
Why is it important: [CEO Yaron Galai says that] Outbrain rivals Google and Facebook in terms of the page views that it generates. Given they plan on building on mobile and self-serve products, viral content services are undoubtedly an interesting development area for marketers and advertisers.
Outbrain‘s widgets help publishers like CNN, The Guardian, ESPN, Hearst, Rolling Stone, Fast Company and Slate increase traffic at their websites, by sponsoring the links that appear on them to recommend related stories to readers. Yesterday, despite several IPO rumours that ran mostly across the Israeli press (where the company is based in part), Outbrain announced its latest fundraising round, bringing its total venture capital haul to almost $100 million since its founding in 2006.
This investment will help Outbrain improve its algorithms and prompt its worldwide expansion.
HarbourVest led the funding round, that also included Carmel, Index and Gemini Israel ventures, as well as GlenRock Israel, Rhodium and Lightspeed Venture Partners.
CEO Yaron Galai said the company is focusing on expanding Outbrain’s tools for mobile devices, where more and more people now consume news. He also reiterated the company’s commitment to making quality story recommendations and building trust with readers and publishers.
Outbrain plans to continue its expansion and recently hired Jeff Davison as its first CFO.