Outbrain opts for fresh $35M round instead of IPO

Outbrain, the content recommendation/advertising firm, announced a new $35 million round of funding today.

The move signals that Outbrain probably isn’t planning on making an initial public offering in the near future as has been rumored for months. Of course, it’s still possible that Outbrain has started the IPO process in private (which is possible under the new SEC rules), but that’s unlikely, since the company could be generating over $1 billion in revenue annually, which would disqualify it from filing in private.

Outbrain provides online publishers with a service that recommends links to related articles or other such content via banners embedded within a publication’s article page. It handles over 130 billion recommendations per month from over 700 publication partners. Publishers get paid based on how often readers click through to those recommended stories, and it’s often an important source of revenue for many publishers. The company has expanded over the last year by gobbling up other nifty publisher tools and services such as VisualRevenue, a tool that allows editorial teams to see how their readers are responding to content and recommends placement of new content for better traffic.

The company said it plans to use the additional capital to continue growing and developing its content discovery platform as well as expand further into international markets.

The new round of funding was led by HarbourVest, with participation from Carmel Ventures, Index Ventures, Gemini Israel Ventures, GlenRock Israel, Rhodium, and Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Vintage Partners.

Founded in 2006, the New York-based company has raised a total of $99 million in funding to date.

Image Credit: 21 Century Fox