Referral Platform Receives $ 200 Million Before Going Public


The money comes from a hedge fund in Boston and is intended to flow into the development of innovations. The merger with competitor Taboola had previously failed.

The native advertising platform Outbrain received fresh capital shortly before going public. The Baupost Group, a Boston-based hedge fund, is investing $ 200 million in the New York company. Just last week Outbrain announced that it was preparing to go public. The corresponding application has already been received by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

“The hedge fund not only shares our vision and our commitment to our business and our team, but also our future prospects,” said Outbrain Co-CEO David Kostman in a statement. His colleague Yaron Galai adds that Outbrain is now a leader in the referral industry, which they co-founded, and that they still have big plans.

In fact, Outbrain has long been a heavyweight in the adtech industry. The company, which was founded in Israel in 2006, has primarily specialized in recommendation boxes and so-called Smartads on websites: The advertisements are displayed based on the interests of the customers and adapted to the design of the respective publications. Special recommendation widgets show other relevant content under an article – or native advertising.



Good numbers for Outbrain despite the corona crisis

In your IPO application Outbrain executives state sales of $ 767 million for 2020 and $ 228 million for the first quarter of the current year. In the same quarter they also generated a surplus of 10.6 million US dollars, it is said.

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Outbrain’s services are also in demand in Germany. Numerous popular media and publishers use the widgets. In May of this year announced the Funke media groupto expand the existing partnership with Outbrain. Funke was one of the first German publishers to use Outbrain’s recommendations not only at the end of articles, but also within texts.

In 2019 Outbrain also took over German competitor Ligatus. In the same year there were reports that Outbrain was working with the adtech company Taboola, which was also founded in Israel and is now based in New York could merge. Both companies are actually competitors; a merger would have made it one of the largest referral networks in the world, reaching up to two billion people a day. But last autumn the deal fell through not least because of the corona crisis and the associated slump in the global advertising market.

Now that the market has recovered, both companies are trying on the stock exchange for themselves – Taboola goes since last week the way over a Spac, Outbrain tries the classic way. The 200 million financial injection is therefore likely to have been the last for the time being to come from private venture capitalists.

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