BuzzFeed has raised $50m in a new funding round that values the web publisher at three times the amount of the Washington Post.
The investment from venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz propelled BuzzFeed’s valuation beyond those traditional big-name publications to about $850 million, according to the New York Times.
That compares with the $250m that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos paid for the 137-year-old Washington Post last year.
The site is responsible for a high number of so-called ‘listicles’(such as 40 Things That Will Make You Feel Old) and sponsored articles that get shared across Facebook.
Formed in 2006 by Jonah Peretti, BuzzFeed now employs 550 staff in New York, London, Sydney, Paris and elsewhere.
Chris Dixon, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, explained his reasoning. “We’re 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,” he said in a blogpost. “We believe BuzzFeed will emerge from this period as a pre-eminent media company.”
Dixon, who will join BuzzFeed’s board as part of the deal, said most established media players dismissed the site as a “toy”.
Dixon said BuzzFeed had “moved steadily upmarket” and employed more than 200 editorial staff covering politics, sports, business, entertainment and travel, with plans to “invest significantly more in high-quality content in the coming years”.
The company is in the process of doubling the size of its foreign desk to 18 staff and is “hiring aggressively” across the rest of the site.
Watch this video from Bloomberg discussing the BuzzFeed investment here: