The news comes about a day after multiple reports from Israel (where Outbrain has offices and its technical team, although it’s headquartered in New York) stating that the company is preparing for an initial public offering — Globes said Outbrain would try to raise between $100 million and $200 million at a valuation of between $700 million and $800 million, while Haaretz reported that it would try to raise between $200 million and $300 million at a $1 billion valuation.
A company spokesperson said Davison is Outbrain’s first CFO. Bringing him on-board isn’t exactly definitive evidence that the company is preparing for an IPO (something Outbrain declined to comment on), but if that was the plan, then this would be an important step. In the press release announcing Davison’s hire, CEO Yaron Galai cites Davison’s “deep experience at both public and private companies” and says Davison “is joining the company at a pivotal moment in our growth.”
Davison was previously CFO (and before that VP of Finance and Operations) at RightNow Technologies, a customer service software company that went public and was eventually acquired by Oracle. Before that, he was controller at publicly traded Powerhouse Technologies.