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Outbrain Inc.
Founded2006; 16 years ago (2006)
FoundersYaron Galai
Ori Lahav[1]
Key people
Yaron Galai, David Kostman, CO-CEO[3]
ProductsContent Discovery Platform
Revenue$1,015 million (2021)[4]
Number of employees

Outbrain is a web recommendation[5] platform founded in 2006 by Co-Founder and Co-CEO Yaron Galai and Co-Founder, Chief Technology Officer and General Manager, Ori Lahav.[6] The company is headquartered in New York City.[5] The company generates revenue for online publishers by displaying feeds of content and ads, or boxes of links, known as chumboxes, to pages within a website or mobile platform.[5] Advertisers pay Outbrain on a pay-per-click basis and a portion of that revenue is shared with publishers.[7]

The quality of Outbrain's recommendations have been debated.[8][5][9]


Outbrain is a native advertising company. It uses targeted advertising to recommend articles, slideshows, blog posts, photos or videos to a reader. Some of the content recommended by Outbrain link to publisher's own content, while others link to other sites.

As of March 2019, Outbrain's promoted articles are found on 108,121 websites.[10] In 2020, Outbrain delivered an average of 10 billion recommendations daily for over 20,000 advertisers.[11][12]


Outbrain first marketed its content discovery platform in 2006.

It was founded by Yaron Galai and Ori Lahav, who were both officers in the Israeli Navy.[13] Galai sold his company Quigo to AOL in 2007 for $363 million.[14] Lahav worked at Shopping.com, acquired by eBay in 2005.[15]

The company is headquartered in New York with 13 global offices in London, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Cologne, Paris, Munich, Milan, Madrid, Tokyo, São Paulo, Netanya,[16] Singapore, and Sydney.[17]

Outbrain went public in July 2021. The company offered 8 million shares in the IPO, bringing in $160 million.[18][19]

Mergers and acquisitions[edit]

Outbrain has acquired six companies—related content recommendation platform, Surphace (February 2011),[20] content curation platform, Scribit (December 2012),[21] and predictive analytics company, Visual Revenue (March 2013).[22] In early 2016, Outbrain acquired technology company Revee.[23][24] In July 2017, Outbrain acquired Zemanta.[25] In February 2019, Outbrain acquired Ligatus.[26]

In October 2019, Outbrain announced its intention to merge with Taboola under the Taboola brand.[27] In September 2020, Taboola and Outbrain ceased merger discussions.[28]

Business model[edit]

Advertisers typically pay on a pay-per-click basis and publishers generate income from external clicks.[29][7] Approximately 75% of that revenue is paid to the site or app which presented the Outbrain link.[30] Outbrain shares advertising revenue with publishers who implement their feeds or links on their sites, which are sometimes referred to as chumboxes.[31][9]


Outbrain has often been compared with competitor Taboola.[32][33] One way that Outbrain claimed to distinguish itself from Taboola was that it tried to pre-filter spammy links before displaying them, whereas Taboola had a feature called Taboola Choice, where users can offer feedback on what recommendations they do not like.[34][35]

Both Outbrain and Taboola have been described by Internet commentators as alternatives to Google AdSense that content publishers could consider for revenue streams.[36][37]

In November 2012, in response to criticism of it for low-quality links, Outbrain decided to cut off showing such links and stated that doing so would cause it a 25% revenue cut, but that it was important for its long-term reputation with publishers and users.[38] In 2021, Outbrain revamped its algorithm to incorporate machine learning and artificial intelligence to improve the quality of its ads.[39] However, the quality of Outbrain's recommendations have been debated.[34][40][41]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "20 Things You Didn't Know About Outbrain". 10 August 2021.
  2. ^ "Outbrain Offices". Outbrain. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  3. ^ "David Kostman Joins Outbrain as Co-CEO". 15 November 2017. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  4. ^ https://investors.outbrain.com/node/7086/html. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ a b c d Reuters Staff (2021-07-06). "IPO-bound digital ad platform Outbrain raises $200 million in funding". Reuters. Retrieved 2021-08-16.
  6. ^ Lee, Allen (2021-08-10). "20 Things You Didn't Know About Outbrain". Money Inc. Retrieved 2021-09-06.
  7. ^ a b Hsu, Tiffany (2019-10-04). "You Will Be Shocked by This Article". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-09-01.
  8. ^ "Outbrain raises $200 million ahead of its IPO". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2021-08-16.
  9. ^ a b Lopatto, Elizabeth (2020-07-22). "Remember the chumbox providers? This is how they look now". The Verge. Retrieved 2021-08-17. You know that chumbox of weird garbage that appears at the bottom of most news sites, including this one? You know the one! It’s labeled “Promoted stories” or “Around the web.” It’s got headlines like: “1 Weird Trick to Lose Weight,” “You Won’t Believe What [STAR NAME HERE] Looks Like Today!,” and “Throw this vegetable out!” There are two major players in the field — Taboola and Outbrain
  10. ^ "Outbrain Market Share and Web Usage Statistics". SimilarTech. Retrieved 2019-03-30.
  11. ^ "Outbrain Files $100M IPO, to List on NASDAQ Under 'OB'". StreetInsider.com. Retrieved 2021-09-22.
  12. ^ "Content marketing platform Outbrain prices IPO below the range at $20". Nasdaq. July 23, 2021. Retrieved September 22, 2021.
  13. ^ "Beyond Israeli Army Unit 8200 - that's not what Startup Nation is all about". 31 May 2015. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  14. ^ It Took Yaron Galai Four Startups to Build the One He Always Wanted to Build PandoDaily. August 16, 2012.
  15. ^ Solomon, Shoshanna (January 16, 2018). "Running a Startup is a marathon; pace yourself, Outbrain founder says". The Times of Israel. Retrieved August 5, 2020.
  16. ^ "Offices". Outbrain. Outbrain. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  17. ^ "Outbrain -Outbrain's Worldwide Offices". Outbrain. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  18. ^ "Outbrain raises $160M in IPO at $1.25B valuation for news link recommendations". VentureBeat. 2021-07-23. Retrieved 2021-09-14.
  19. ^ Weil, Dan. "Outbrain Edges Higher on Ad Platform's First Day of Trading". TheStreet. Retrieved 2021-09-28.
  20. ^ ""Outbrain Acquires Surphace, Creates Market Leader for Content Discovery". 02 Feb 2011". Marketwire. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  21. ^ Kafka, Peter (11 December 2012). "Content-Recommender Outbrain Buys Content-Fetcher Scribit". Allthingsd.
  22. ^ Lynley, Matthew (2013-03-07). "Recommendation Engine Outbrain Acquires Editorial Data Startup Visual Revenue". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2021-08-05.
  23. ^ O'Reilly, Lara (3 March 2016). "Outbrain acquires Revee in order to tell publishers how much revenue each individual article is pulling in". Business Insider.
  24. ^ Reback, Gedalyah (3 March 2016). "Outbrain outfoxes Taboola and buys out adtech startup Revee". geektime.com. Archived from the original on March 7, 2016.
  25. ^ "Outbrain Acquires Native DSP Zemanta". AdExchanger. 25 July 2017. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  26. ^ "Web Content-Recommendation Firm Outbrain to Acquire Native-Ad Specialist". Wall Street Journal. 26 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  27. ^ Graham, Megan (2019-10-03). "A new ad tech merger is the latest sign rivals need to get big quickly to take on Facebook and Google's dominance". CNBC. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  28. ^ "Taboola and Outbrain call off their $850M merger". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2020-09-09.
  29. ^ "Not so chummy any more: after merger didn't click, what next for Taboola and Outbrain?". The Drum. Retrieved 2021-10-03.
  30. ^ "tm2113258-15_s1a - block - 34.3596108s". www.sec.gov. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  31. ^ Cookson, Robert (January 2014). "How Outbrain Hooked Publishers on Content Marketing". Financial Times.
  32. ^ Jeff John Roberts (March 28, 2013). ""Recommended for you": the fight to decide what you read next". GigaOm. Retrieved September 27, 2014.
  33. ^ Stewman, Ryan (April 3, 2016). "Outbrain vs. Taboola: What's Different, and When To Use One Over The Other".
  34. ^ a b "How Journalism Promotes The Internet's Shadiest Scams". Priceonomics. April 23, 2014. Retrieved September 27, 2014.
  35. ^ Lawler, Ryan (September 4, 2013). "Taboola Now Lets You Filter Out Content Recommendations That You Don't Want To See". Retrieved September 27, 2014.
  36. ^ Taub, Alexander (March 28, 2013). "How two Israeli companies are leading the pack in the AdSense for content space/". Forbes. Archived from the original on April 1, 2013. Retrieved September 27, 2014.
  37. ^ "17 Best Google AdSense Alternatives to Make Money From Your Blog". The Tecnica. April 24, 2014. Archived from the original on October 4, 2014. Retrieved September 27, 2014.
  38. ^ Jason Del Rey (November 8, 2012). "Outbrain Expects 25% Revenue Hit As It Cuts Off Spammy Content Marketers. Move Seeks to Eliminate Deceptive Headlines and Get-Rich-Quick Schemes to Improve Quality". Ad Age. Retrieved September 27, 2014.
  39. ^ B&T Magazine (2021-05-17). "Outbrain Creates New Tool To Rate Quality Of Advertiser Content". B&T. Retrieved 2021-09-01.
  40. ^ Ingram, Matthew (18 August 2014). "How Taboola and Outbrain are battling a bad reputation… and each other". Forbes. Retrieved 15 August 2020.
  41. ^ "Who are Top Advertisers and Publishers on Outbrain?". Retrieved 18 June 2019.

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