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Recommendation Mergers and Acquisitions IPO

Everything you need to know about Outbrain’s IPO


By John Glenday, Reporter

April 22, 2021 | 4 min read

Content recommendation company Outbrain is pursuing an initial public offering (IPO).


Everything you need to know about Outbrain’s IPO

The Israeli-based business has filed a confidential prospectus with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as it gears up to float on Wall Street.

The move comes after the content recommendation company abandoned an earlier attempt to merge with rival Taboola, which announced plans of its own in January to go public through a SPAC.

Here’s everything we know so far about the IPO.

Outbrain gets ready to go public

  • Outbrain’s pending stock market debut does not yet have an expected share price, but reports suggest that the recommendations outlet is targeting a $2bn valuation.

  • Such a figure would compensate for earlier abortive attempts to instigate a merger with rival Taboola, which recently announced its own intent to go public via a special-purpose acquisitions company.

  • Keeping its cards close to its chest, Outbrain issued an official briefing note stating only that: “The number of shares to be offered and the initial public offering is expected to take place after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) completes its review process, subject to market and other conditions.”

Why it matters

  • A surge in public listings from ad-tech firms in recent months resembles a stampede, with DoubleVerify the latest to raise capital from a buoyant stock market from its launch last Wednesday – following hot on the heels of PubMatic, Viant and AppLovin.

  • Outbrain boasts that it issues 344bn content recommendations each month, serving over a billion unique users in cooperation with leading online publishers such as CNN, the BBC, The Washington Post, Der Spiegel and Le Monde.

  • Founded in Israel back in 2006, Outbrain has swiftly conquered much of the world over intervening years from its New York headquarters and offices in the UK, France, Australia, Singapore and Japan.

  • Led by co-chief execs Yaron Galai and David Costman, Outbrain maintains a strong presence in Israel through its development center but suffered a setback last year with the failure of a planned merger with Israeli rival Taboola.

  • That tie-up would have netted Outbrain a $250m cash windfall and handed it a 30% stake in the combined entity, which was to have been led by Taboola CEO Adam Singolda.

  • The deal ultimately fell apart, however, after global antitrust bodies delayed giving the merger their stamp of approval, forcing both parties to go their separate ways.

  • Addressing The Drum following the collapse of the merger, Singolda insisted that it was ‘the right thing to try’ but he would have taken Taboola public whatever happened.

  • For his part a similarly circumspect Galai gave little indication of his plans as recently as February, choosing to focus on addressing topical concerns around fake content and a never-ending battle against clickbait.

  • Pursuing a plan B, Taboola has since agreed to merge with a special-purpose vehicle ION Acquisition Corp, trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange with a $2.6bn valuation.

Recommendation Mergers and Acquisitions IPO

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Outbrain (Nasdaq: OB) is a leading technology platform that drives business results by engaging people across the open internet. Outbrain predicts moments of engagement...

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