NBCUniversal has “snap”-ped up a piece of another red-hot digital property.
The company said in a memo to employees on Friday that it made a “strategic investment” of $500m in Snap — which owns vanishing-photo app Snapchat — as part of its closely watched IPO yesterday.
NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast, has partnered with the company prior to its IPO, including a partnership to feature Olympic games content.
The news follows on the heels of NBCUniversal’s recent investments in digital-media groups Buzzfeed and Vox Media, worth $400m and $200m respectively, as well as its acquisition of SportsEngine, a digital business that helps manage youth sports.
NBCUniversal said it looks forward to continuing the partnership, including an “expanded partnership” with Snap and Buzzfeed for content from the 2018 winter Olympics in South Korea. Some of its TV shows — like reality singing competition The Voice and sketch-comedy mainstay SNL — have already launched Snapchat series, and NBC said that it expects even more Snapchat shows to launch in the weeks to come.
NBCUniversal chief executive Steve Burke said in the memo:
I am proud of the strides we have made in the digital space recently. With the Snap investment, we have invested over $1.5 billion in promising digital businesses in the last 18 months. Importantly, we have become a better, more digitally-focused company as a result.
Looking forward, we will continue to be aggressive as digital content consumption increases. Investing in Snap is a key step in that direction, and I am pleased to share this exciting news with you. It is rare to have the opportunity to invest at this stage in a company as visionary and dynamic as Snap, and it is a compliment that they chose NBCU as a partner.
Snap made its highly anticipated market debut yesterday with a 44 per cent rise from its $17 listing price. Its shares rose another 8 per cent on Friday morning.
CNBC first reported the stake.