Clickbait giant Outbrain files for I.P.O.

Outbrain, one of the top clickbait ad providers, filed on Tuesday to raise at least $ 100 million through an IPO – the day before its main competitor begins public trading.

The company, which calls itself a content recommendation platform, places so-called chumbox ads on websites to entice readers in the way anglers use pieces of dead fish to attract other fish. It had sales of $ 767 million and net income of $ 4.4 million for the past year, Outbrain said in its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company said it has yet to set a price range, evaluation or offer price and plans to raise more than $ 100 million.

Founded in 2006, Outbrain claims it routes ads to more than 7,000 digital destinations and pays sites like CNN, Der Spiegel, and Le Monde when users click on the ads. According to the company, more than 20,000 advertisers use the platform.

In 2019, Outbrain planned to team up with its main rival Taboola, but the agreement broke up last fall. Taboola said earlier this year that it will go public by merging with what is known as a special purpose vehicle (SPAC) instead. Trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange is slated to begin on Wednesday.

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