BuzzFeed draws about 150 million average monthly viewers and is most well-known for its short, bulleted or numbered lists of things that tend to go viral. Often, those lists are related to a company or product, thus driving ad revenue. These things have given BuzzFeed a value of about $850 million in investors’ eyes. That valuation has meant the raising of $50 million in new capital in BuzzFeed’s latest funding round.
“As we grow, how can we maintain a culture that can still be entrepreneurial?” Said Jonah Peretti, the company’s co-founder and chief executive. “What if a Hollywood studio or a news organization was run like a start-up?”
Today, BuzzFeed will announce that its new capital will be used to make several major changes; including introducing new content sections, creating an in-house incubator for new technology and potential acquisitions, and dumping resources into their Motion Pictures video arm in Los Angeles.
What has really taken BuzzFeed forward, though, has been its embracing of mobile technology and its diversity of both traditional and bulleted content along with many meme-able lists, graphics, and combinations of those with traditional deep reporting and search engine optimization.
For example, BuzzFeed has learned to maximize its Pinterest activity and now drives more traffic from that photo sharing site than it does from Twitter, which has been slowing down recently. Social media as a whole, says BuzzFeed, is about 75 percent of their total traffic.
The major contributor to this latest $50 million round was Andreessen Horowitz, from which Chris Dixon will be joining BuzzFeed’s board. “We think of BuzzFeed as more of a technology company,” he said. “They embrace Internet culture. Everything is first optimized for mobile and social channels.”