A few days ago I tweeted a quote by Dave McClure of 500Startups: “Startups should NOT be measured by how much FUNDING they raise, rather by how much AWESOME they create / REVENUE they get.” (via @hnshah – thanks!)
I couldn’t think of a better way to start the blog post announcing Outbrain’s new round of funding of $35M, led by Index Ventures. This more than doubles our funding to date, bringing it to a total of $64M since we started the company. While some will surely obsess over the amount of money raised, Dave McClure’s quote is a perfect reminder of what’s really important: How much more AWESOME can we create? For Outbrain, awesome means several things: How many more readers or video viewers can we delight with interesting content links? How much more engaging can we help make publisher websites? How many more uniques can we help drive to our buyers’ articles and videos? This new round of funding will enable us to extend our commitment to our mission of serving people the most interesting content links, be it paid links or organic ones, on the web or on the mobile site, and to an article page or to a video. We plan on using the funding in several ways to achieve this:
Continue expanding globally by providing our content discovery engine in more languages and more geographies. In 2011, we expanded to the UK, France and Germany, and in 2012 we plan to continue that expansion.
Delight people who are consuming content on more devices and screens. In 2011, we expanded our service to publishers’ mobile websites. There are other screens and devices where people consume their favorite content, and we’d love for Outbrain to be of service in those places.
Recommend the best content, regardless of its type. In 2011, we started powering content recommendations in video in addition to text articles. We’ll be looking to strengthen our commitment to all types of publisher content.
Continue investing heavily in the development of the best algorithms in the world for content recommendations, while supporting a robust and highly scalable serving infrastructure.
We chose to do this round with our new partner — Index Ventures — for several reasons. First and foremost, Dominique Vidal, who is joining our Board of Directors, is a perfect match both in his experience as founder of Kelkoo and x-CEO of Yahoo Europe, and in his vision for Outbrain’s future. Secondly, Index is a truly global VC firm with deep roots in the European markets where we are expanding. We couldn’t have imagined a better fitting partner for the company at this stage.
We’re excited to have our previous investors join this round as well. They have been instrumental in helping us build everything we’ve built to date, and helping us stay heads-down focused on delivering AWESOME to our customers.