Outbrain, a New York-based, has raised $5 million in Series A funding. Gemini Israel Funds and Lightspeed Venture Partners co-led the round, and were joined by seed backer GlenRock Israel.
Outbrain Inc. today announced the closing of a $5M A-round investment led by Gemini Israel Funds (www.gemini.co.il) and Lightspeed Venture Partners (http://www.lightspeedvp.com/). GlenRock Israel (www.grg.co.il), Leon Recanati’s investment company which backed Outbrain since its inception, also participated in the round.
Outbrain is a platform for ratings and recommendations of blog, news and RSS content. Bloggers and publishers can use Outbrain’s free widget or API to provide readers with rating functionality and personalized reading recommendations. The widget can be installed with one click, and most leading blogging/RSS platforms are supported � Blogger.com, TypePad, WordPress.org, Drupal, FeedFlare, MoveableType, etc. Thousands of websites have already installed the Outbrain widget, and millions of ratings and recommendations are being served by Outbrain daily.
Outbrain was founded by Yaron Galai, Co-Founder of Quigo which was recently acquired by AOL, and Ori Lahav who previously headed R&D teams at Shopping.com. Outbrain was one of the first companies to be backed by the Lightsped/Gemini Internet Lab (LGiLab – www.lgilab.com), which is dedicated to making seed investments in early-stage, Israel-related internet startups.
Following the investment, Daniel Cohen from Gemini, Yoni Cheifetz from Lightspeed and Ziv Kop from GlenRock, will be joining Outbrain’s board of directors. Outbrain is headquartered in New York City, with its R&D based in Israel.
From the Outbrain blog (http://blog.outbrain.com) –
“We love reading blogs, but the signal-to-noise ratio makes it impossible to find the good content anymore. We’re looking to build the standard platform for discovery of high-quality, personalized blog content on the web. We want to give readers their personalized recommendations at all those places where they are already consuming content – blogs, news sites and RSS aggregators. There are quite a few companies doing different flavors of collaborative filtering on the web, but we’re focused on doing one thing and doing it very well – making the best personalized recommendations of blog and news content. We’re excited to have found three excellent firms – Gemini, Lightspeed and GlenRock – who understand this space so well, and truly believe in our vision and strategy for becoming the #1 discovery platform for blog/news content.”
To get the outbrain widget on your blog, go to www.outbrain.com/get/
Screenshots, logos and other materials you can use are available here – http://www.outbrain.com/new/pages/writeaboutus.html
A pioneer in Israel’s venture capital industry, Gemini Israel Funds has grown to be the leading Israeli seed and early stage fund in the Information Technology arena. The firm, founded in 1993, manages more than $700 million in five funds. Investments are focused on the areas of Communications and Wireless Technologies, Enterprise Software, Internet, Consumer Electronics and Semiconductors, and more recently in Greentech. Through offices in Israel and Silicon Valley, Gemini offers portfolio companies access to top-tier U.S. based investors and a global network of corporate partners. As investment professionals, Gemini’s key contributions include an ability to make daring investment decisions and the capability to utilize past operational experience in assisting portfolio companies. Past successes include: Allot, Mellanox, Saifun, Precise, Traiana, Butterfly, Commtouch, Ornet, Verisity, Jacada, Ceragon, Riverhead, nLayers, Itemfield and others.
The partners of Lightspeed have invested over $800M in more than 100 technology companies over the past two decades and invests across the U.S., China, India and Israel. Lightspeed has contributed strong operational and sector expertise to market leaders such as Blue Nile, Brocade, Ciena, eHealthinsurance, Galileo Technology, Informatica, Kiva Software, Metasolv, Phone.com, Quantum Effect Devices, Riverbed, Sirocco, Virsa Systems and Waveset, working closely with these companies throughout the early stages of their business development lifecycles.
Founded by Leon Recanati in 2003, the GlenRock Group leverages a unique combination of private equity, multidisciplinary in-house expertise, unmatched access to quality dealflow, and a focused but flexible investment strategy to achieve maximum returns. With a global presence and ready access to the most prominent names in Israeli business, academia, and science, GlenRock is experienced at identifying Life Sciences and advanced technology opportunities – and leading them to realization of their true market potential. GlenRock takes an active and long-term role in the development and growth of portfolio companies � ensuring that extraordinary ideas evolve into business success stories.