Outbrain nabs $34M to expand article-suggestion service

Krystal Peak · December 14, 2011 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/22a2

Index Ventures invests in widget technology that helps increase traffic to online publishers

The discovery platform for published content online, Outbrain, has uncovered a $34 million Series D round of funding Wednesday -- this round more than doubles the company's capital, bringing its total to $64 million.

The Index Ventures led round included participation from existing investors: Carmel Ventures and LightSpeed Venture Partners.

The five-year-old platform has recently expanded its published content suggestions from just articles to online video and mobile web markets and has generated more than 200 million monthly clicks to publishers across the Web from its service.

Outbrain's content recommendations have been viewed roughly 3.5 billion times each month and includes content from CNN, Fox News, Hearst, Mashable, MSNBC, Reuters UK and Slate. 

As of Wednesday, Dominique Vidal, a partner at Index Ventures, will also be joining Outbrain's board of directors. Vidal add to the board 20 years of experience, including his previous roles as CEO of Yahoo! Europe and founder of Kelkoo.

"Outbrain presents a solution to a problem that online media has been facing since the Internet brought content to the web," Dominique Vidal, partner at Index Ventures said in a statement. "It is clear that the company mission to help users discover great content is their top priority, which is why Outbrain has cultivated a leading position in the market."

"We've achieved exceptional milestones this year -- from the acquisition of Surphace out of AOL to the launch of our European offices in London, France and Germany to the rollout of Outbrain for Mobile and Outbrain for Video," Yaron Galai, CEO and co-founder at Outbrain said in a statment. 

This new round of funding will set Outbrain up to bring more quality content to audiences globally.

Outbrain expressed its strength because it helps publishers increase onsite engagement and revenue while providing their audience with interesting content they may not discover otherwise -- rather that pulling readers away by simply aggregating the content on its platform. 

The New York-based startup drives reader to it partners' sites through website widget technology. 

The Outbrain system melds contextual analysis, collaborative filtering and personalization tools recommend articles or other content that a reader will likely enjoy in a similar manner that publishers have "recommended news" at the bottom of an article -- but these suggestions go across publishers and platforms to provider a wider net of returns.

Outbrain had already been scaling its operation across the globe -- by opening offices in London, Paris and Hamburg. 

In February, Outbrain also acquired a company with similar widget services that it offers -- Surface.

Surphace, founded in 2005, was previously acquired by AOL in 2008.  When it merged with Outbrain, it brought along a string of publications, including the LA Times, AllThingsD, Lonely Planet, Dow Jones, Time, CBS, Engadget, and more.

The acquisition was focused on broadening Outbrain’s online publishing reach and enhance its content discovery technology. 

 

 

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Outbrain (www.outbrain.com) is the leading content recommendation platform, reaching a highly engaged audience through distribution on top publisher sites, including USA Today, iVillage, Boston.com, Chicago Tribune, Newsweek, TheStreet, The Boston Globe and Slate. Outbrain provides publishers a service for recommended links to increase traffic and generate revenue, and marketers a way to their distribute content alongside publisher’s own editorial recommendations. Outbrain acquired content recommendation platform Surphace (formerly known as Sphere) in February 2011. Founded in 2006, the company is headquartered in New York with R&D in Netanya, Israel, and is backed by Carmel Ventures, Gemini Israel Funds, GlenRock Israel, Rhodium and Lightspeed Venture Partners.