Outbrain has just announced a $12M Series-B investment led by Carmel Ventures. Outbrain’s previous investors – Gemini Israel Funds, Lightspeed Venture Partners and GlenRock Israel – all participated in the round. In addition, Zohar Gilon and Rhodium have also joined the round. Following the investment, Shlomo Dovrat, co-founder and general partner of Carmel Ventures will be joining Outbrain’s board of directors.
Outbrain is a platform for delivering personalized recommendations of blog and publisher content to readers. Bloggers and publishers can use Outbrain’s easy-to-install and free widget or API to provide their readers with rating functionality and personalized reading recommendations, as can be seen at the bottom of this post. With a growing number of users, Outbrain has been serving millions of content recommendations daily. There have been speculations on Outbrain’s business model, like this post on Shahar Solomianik’s blog. However, I think that Outbrain is yet to reveal its full potential: If every link on a SERP, in Twitter or in your RSS reader was ranked by users, it is worth something for the publisher. Though the value creation is clear, it remains to be seen how will Outbrain capture that in terms of monetization.
This is a great triumph for co-founders Yaron Galai and Ori Lahav in the current market conditions. Yaron was previously a co-founder of Quigo which was acquired by AOL last year and is quickly gaining the reputation of “young Yossi Vardi” as an active angel investor in Israeli start ups. Ori previously headed R&D teams at Shopping.com.
In the words of Carmel’s Shlomo Dovrat, who will be joining the board:
“The amount of content published online is exploding. Finding great content is getting both more difficult and more important. Outbrain provides web publishers with a turn-key, intelligent recommendation service that drives back significant traffic. Outbrain’s personalized recommended links offer great value to readers by combining their collective wisdom and using unique algorithms. We’re excited to partner with Outbrain’s experienced founding team and help them build a great company”,
Congratulations to the team on this achievement and best of luck.