Outbrain begins IPO process at $1B+ valuation.
Reports have surfaced that content discovery platform Outbrain has begun the process of filing for an IPO at a valuation that would make it one of the largest filings in Israeli tech history
According to Israeli news site the Calcalist (Hebrew), Israel based content discovery platform Outbrain, has begun the process of filing for an IPO with a rumored valuation northward of $1B. The report adds that the official action will probably be taken sometime in the first half of 2014 and that the expected capital to be raised lies somewhere in the range of $200-250M.
The relatively high valuation is most probably a direct result of a very strong growth rate displayed in 2013 revenues estimated at $120M, a healthy jump from 2012’s $80M, with no signs of slowing down in the near future.
Content discovery, discovering success
Founded in 2006 by Yaron Galai and Ori Lahav, Outbrain’s content discovery platform uses AI algorithms to try and intuit content that users weren’t necessarily were actively searching for while browsing a site, but would be very happy to have ‘discovered’ anyhow.
As a business model, Outbrain essentially functions as a 3-way marketplace for content consumers, content publishers and media buyers, with their two products – Outbrain Engage and Outbrain Amplify – facilitating relevant engagement and leveraging between all three parties. Publishers use Engage to keep their visitors, well, engaged on their site with continuous targeted followup content while buyers use Amplify to get in front of new and relevant audiences currently visiting other sites, for the chance to lead them back to their own content.
Outbrain has steadily grown as a company over the years now employing over 70 people and operating 16 satellite offices across the globe. The company has thus far received $64M in funding from investors; Index Ventures, Carmel Ventures, Gemini Israel Funds, GlenRock Israel, Rhodium and Lightspeed Venture Partners.
Along with their internal growth, Outbrain’s publishing distribution channels have matched pace coming to include top names in the content publishing industry such as CNN, Fox News, Hachette Filipacchi Media, Mashable, MSNBC and Slate. Equally impressive are their media buyers leveraging these prime distribution channels, which include tier-1 companies such as Starcom, Digitas, Mindshare, American Express, P&G, Colgate-Palmolive, General Mills and Exxon.
Outbrain outgrowing its privately owned status
This IPO drive seems to be a natural progression of a recent predatory appetite for growth by Outbrain, beginning with the purchasing of contextual content tool developer Surphace (formerly known as Sphere) in February of 2011 and followed most recently by the purchase of real-time predictive analytics platform, Visual Revenue in March of 2013.
Outbrain’s dominant persona of acquisition hunter was briefly taken down a few notches last August after being hacked, and their site defaced by a group calling themselves the Syrian e-army, however no real damage was done and with a billion dollar IPO valuation on the horizon I think their reputation could be said to be in fairly good shape.
Video: What is Outbrain