Friday, November 28, 2014

Outbrain Files for Possible Nasdaq Listing

Source: Wall Street Journal, By Orr Hirschauge

Outbrain Inc., a provider of “native ads,” filed confidentially with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this month seeking preliminary approval to list shares on the Nasdaq Stock Market, according to people familiar with the matter.

If a decision is made to go ahead, Outbrain is expected to seek a valuation of around $1 billion, according to one person familiar with the matter. It is unclear how much of the company it would seek to sell in any listing.

Outbrain has tapped Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan as lead underwriters for any listing, these people said. If the filing passes SEC scrutiny, the company is aiming to go public in the first quarter of 2015, according to these people.

Founded in Israel in 2006, Outbrain was a pioneer in native advertising, or ads that are meant to be more integrated into a website than other forms of ads, like pop-ups and banner ads. It is now based in New York.

Outbrain places content, like recommended further reading, on a website, linking to the publisher’s own content or sponsored content.

Currently employing around 430 people, the company has raised roughly $100 million in the past from a list of investors including Lightspeed Venture Partners, Carmel Ventures, Glenrock Israel, Gemini Israel Funds Ltd., Index Ventures, Vintage Partners and HarbourVest Partners LLC. 

Outbrain’s biggest competitor in the content recommendation domain is Taboola Inc., itself a New-York based Israeli company.

The Wall Street Journal previously reported the company is now seeking to raise $75 million to $100 million from investors in a U.S. roadshow, after hiring Credit Suisse Group .

In August, Taboola disclosed an annual revenue run rate—a metric that estimates future performance based on most recent results—of $250 million.

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