To better align online readers with ad-supported content, recommendation engine Outbrain just raised $11 million from Carmel Ventures. Additional investors included Gemini Israel Funds, GlenRock Israel, Rhodium and Lightspeed Venture Partners.
Outbrain, which has now raised nearly $30 million, could use the money; it just acquired rival content recommendation engine Surphace from AOL. The company is hoping the additional technology -- formerly known as Sphere -- can broaden its reach among online publishers and improve its service offerings.
In addition, Outbrain plans to flesh out its business development and sales teams stateside, as well as grow its footprint in Israel and Europe, according to company co-founder and CEO Yaron Galai.
"This new round of funding allows us to accelerate our technology advancements, further scale our client base and hire top talent," Galai said.
Founded in 2006, Outbrain provides online publishers with a platform for recommending content links with the hope of increasing traffic and page views.
The Outbrain service also endeavors to help publishers better monetize their content pages by leveraging recommended links to third-party content.
Publishing partners include USA Today, The Boston Globe, The Daily Beast and Newsweek, Ziff Davis, iVillage and Slate.
Per the Surphace deal, new publishers using the Outbrain platform include Lonely Planet, Los Angeles Times, Billboard, WordPress.com, The Wall Street Journal's AllThingsD blog network, and AOL itself.
Post acquisition, the company claims to serve over 2 billion page views per month.