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The Billion Dollar Personal Recommendation

Outbrain -- the startup that powers those "suggested reading" and "recommended for you" links on websites like CNN and US Weekly -- is considering an IPO that could value it at $1 billion, GigaOM reported, citing the Wall Street Journal.

According to a confidential prospectus that Outbrain reportedly filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the initial stock offering would be on the Nasdaq exchange early next year. The Journal quoted unnamed sources familiar with the matter.

The New York-based startup, which has raised almost $100 million, was founded in Israel in 2006 by Yaron Galai. Its primary competitor, Taboola, was also founded in Israel (on the first day of 2007), is now based in New York and is trying to bring its own funding up to $100 million. Both companies also say they're the "leading content discovery platform."

While 400-employee Outbrain doesn’t reveal its revenues publicly, Taboola reported earlier this year that it has a 12-month run rate of about $250 million in revenue.

GigaOM notes that while both companies are growing quickly, "not everyone is enamored of their business model of showing viral 'clickbait' in an attempt to drive traffic to publishers and/or advertisers. Venture capitalist Marc Andreessen said earlier this year on Twitter that 'anyone serious who uses [a third-party related content module] should be shot.'"

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: HOW WE SHOP – SEPTEMBER 2020 

The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

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