Outbrain files for an IPO following Taboola’s go-public deal

NY-based content recommendation platform Outbrain announced that it has publicly filed for an initial public offering at what’s likely to be about a $2 billion valuation. 

Outbrain provides advertisers ad targeting technologies across different native ad formats, such as video, app install ads, and carousels. The company reported that its platform was used by over 20,000 direct advertisers in 2020. 

The adtech company generated $228 million in revenue in the first quarter of 2021, with a 29% year-over-year growth rate. Delivering a personalized user experience to around one billion monthly unique users, Outbrain says its platform generated more than $3 billion direct revenue for digital media owners. 

According to the S-1 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Outbrain plans to offer $100M of stock, although that is just a placeholder number. The company plans for its shares to trade on Nasdaq under the symbol “OB”. 

Oubrain’s content recommendation rival Taboola began trading on the Nasdaq Wednesday following its merger with the special acquisition company ION Acquisition Corp.1. The company raised more than $500 million with the IPO. 

According to CNBC, the company closed down 2% Wednesday afternoon in its first day of trading. 

Taboola, which serves over 13,000 advertisers using its network to reach more than 500 million daily active users, reported a revenue of $303 million in the first quarter of 2021.

“I think of Taboola as a search engine but in reverse,” said Taboola founder and CEO Adam Singolda. “Taboola is providing them with recommendations for content and things they might like but just never knew existed.”

Back in September, Taboola and Outbrain called off a planned $850 million merger which they first announced back in October 2019 and would have valued them at over $2 billion.

“We’ve seen changing conditions in the market due to COVID-19, and we decided to terminate the deal,” an anonymous person close to the merger had said. “It’s been such a long road, and it’s not great…but walking away is the right move.”

Written by Jordan Bevan

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