BuzzFeed to spend US$50m investment on major expansion

11 Aug 2014

Viral content company BuzzFeed will use US$50m in Series E financing from Andreessen Horowitz to build its brand, boost traffic and revenue on the web and mobile, and expand editorial, video and advertising offerings.

The investment values the company at about US$850m, The New York Times reported a person with knowledge of the deal as having said.

In addition to the financing, investor Kenneth Lerer will take up the reins as BuzzFeed’s executive chairman and adviser and will work with BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti on company strategy.

Chris Dixon, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, will join the board of directors and bring expertise and guidance in the technology space.

BuzzFeed International will expand to India, Germany, Mexico and Japan this year, and the company is now also eyeing the incubation and acquisition of new companies.

“Today’s reorganisation is the start of an ongoing plan to grow horizontally by adding entrepreneurial new units to continue expansion beyond Motion Pictures, Distributed, Creative, and International,” BuzzFeed said in a statement.

Chris Dixon, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, who led the investment for the firm, said consumers are in the midst of a historic shift in the media industry where news is increasingly being distributed on social networks and consumed on mobile devices.

“We believe BuzzFeed can emerge from this shift as a pre-eminent media company,” said Dixon.

“As an early investor in BuzzFeed, I’ve seen first-hand how technology is at the core of the BuzzFeed business and culture and permeates every organisational function, allowing them to lead in this social and mobile-dominant age.”

BuzzFeed webpage image via Shutterstock

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic