© The Financial Times Ltd 2016
FT and 'Financial Times' are trademarks of The Financial Times Ltd.
The Financial Times and its journalism are subject to a self-regulation regime under the FT Editorial Code of Practice.
August 11, 2014 10:30 am
1. OK, maybe you will
If you guess $50m. BuzzFeed’s new investor is one of Silicon Valley’s best-known venture capital firms, Andreessen Horowitz. This is literally what happens when you create an INSANELY DISRUPTIVE news service.
2. There’s more
The investment values BuzzFeed at $850m, the New York Times reported.
Or more than three times what Jeff Bezos paid for the Washington Post or nearly half the New York Times Company’s own enterprise value.
Let’s all salute a start-up founded in 2006, which was reportedly worth less than $200m in January 2012. Revenues are expected to exceed $100m this year, Andreessen Horowitz said.
3. Orphaned pygmy hippos that are looking directly at you
Yes, every article about BuzzFeed must mention that their LISTS ARE CHAMPAGNE FOR THE EYES.
But honestly, that’s cool because the site has also been hiring political reporters and is beefing up its foreign coverage.
With Andreessen Horowitz’s money, BuzzFeed wants to add more AMAZING sections that your GRANDMOTHER should have told you about, invest in UNBELIEVABLE videos that will MAKE YOU SPILL (ADVERTISER-NAME) COFFEE ON YOUR SHORTS RIGHT NOW and possibly buy some weird-ass tech companies where GEEKS ARE COOKING THE FUTURE.
4. Which Buzzfeed executive are you?
If you’re lucky, you’re upbeat founder and chief executive Jonah Peretti. He just rocked the internet so hard, we can all go home now.
But there are stumbling blocks. BuzzFeed has been accused of copying others’ work: last month it fired one of its political editors for plagiarism. And its ad-funded model may not be fail-safe: MailOnline, which reaches 180m unique users compared to BuzzFeed’s 150m, has had to hire more and more journalists to generate growth. BuzzFeed currently has 550 employees.
5. How did this MASSIVE SITE become MASSIVE anyway?
BuzzFeed’s secret sauce is its grasp of how content spreads online and on mobiles, paying intense attention to subject-matter, headlines and so on.
As Andreessen Horowitz’s Chris Dixon put it: “Many of today’s great media companies were built on top of emerging technologies. Examples include Time Inc. which was built on colour printing, CBS which was built on radio, and Viacom which was built on cable TV . . . BuzzFeed takes the internet and computer science seriously.”
BuzzFeed resembles Andreessen Horowitz’s investments in big data start-ups, Facebook and accommodation site Airbnb, than the venture firm’s moves into, say, robotics.
So, when Peter Thiel, the venture capitalist who co-founded PayPal, wakes up this morning, we know he’ll mutter to himself again: “We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters.”
6. Secrets that no one tells you about BuzzFeed
BuzzFeed is famous for lists of five or 10 things, but now tends to have more random numbers, in order to appear more credible to readers. That is one of the cutest things they have ever done, ever.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2016. You may share using our article tools.
Please don't cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.
Sign up for email briefings to stay up to date on topics you are interested in