Venture capital firm invests $50 million in BuzzFeed
New York-based entertainment website BuzzFeed announced yesterday evening that it has secured a $50 million (£30 million) investment from Andreessen Horowitz, a venture capital firm from Menlo Park, California.
The investment allegedly brings BuzzFeed's value up to $850 million (£507 million), according to The New York Times.
The viral content giant dabbles in both serious and light-hearted journalism, but is more famous for the latter. It was founded in 2006, the same year as Twitter - a website that has been instrumental to its success. BuzzFeed articles enjoy strong circulation around social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.
Revolutionising content consumption
American internet entrepreneur Chris Dixon, co-founder and former CEO of website Hunch, announced on his personal blog that he will join the BuzzFeed board. He added:
"Many of today's great media companies were built on top of emerging technologies. We're presently in the midst of a major technological shift in which, increasingly, news and entertainment are being distributed on social networks and consumed on mobile devices. We believe BuzzFeed will emerge as a preeminent media company."
Mobile-friendliness is now a big focus for news websites, as recent statistics have revealed that 30 per cent of all searches in the US are done on mobile devices. As a result, top media outlets, including BuzzFeed, try to ensure that their content is as easily accessible and readable on mobile devices as it is on desktops.
BuzzFeed also plans to increase its video efforts, with vlogging pioneer Ze Frank heading BuzzFeed Motion Pictures, which will start out producing videos ranging from six seconds in length to 22 minutes. If that project is a success, BuzzFeed plans to eventually work in conjunction with Hollywood studios to make feature-length films.
Kleon West, business development director at theEword, has said: "This is an exciting time for BuzzFeed; it's now clearer than ever how far the site's come from the memes and funny lists it made its name with. BuzzFeed has revolutionised the way we digest content online, and it looks like we can expect more from them yet."