Business

Buzzfeed gets $50m backing from venture capitalists

The index page of BuzzFeed. Image copyright Getty Images

Internet media company Buzzfeed has received a $50m investment from venture capitalists Andreeson Horowitz.

Buzzfeed, which was valued at $850m, says it will use the money to offer more content, expand its video production unit and open more offices around the world.

Chris Dixon partner at Andreeson Horowitz said, Buzzfeed had emerged "as a preeminent media company".

Buzzfeed attracts an average to 150m users a month.

Silly videos

The website started life in 2006 as an aggregator of light-hearted lists, videos and quizzes which people would share on social media.

Its slick layout and colloquial made it a hit with young people - and perhaps bored office workers - who simply had to find out "which celebrity cat should be your BFF".

Recently it has started to focus more on current affairs.

It hired a team of journalists and now blends its irreverent style with hard news.

The Buzzfeed audience is growing and 75% of hits come via social media referrals, either by Facebook, Twitter or Pintrest.

'Disruptive media'

The site gets roughly four times more viewers per month than the Times and was valued more than three times higher than the Washington Post which was bought by Jeff Bezos for $250m this year.

In a blog, Chris Dixon explained that his company invested in Buzzfeed because it is "disruptive" - it's changed the landscape of online media.

One of the reasons its been able to do that is because it understands the the way the internet works.

All of the content is available on and formatted for mobile, targeting people who browse while standing in a queue or travelling to work.

'Buzzwood'

One of the big things the company is planning to do with this cash injection is to put more resources towards Buzzfeed Motion Pictures, its video unit based in Los Angeles.

It will concentrate on producing videos which could be anything from six seconds long to a one hour documentary.

Buzzfeed's videos are already incredibly popular and often get picked up by mainstream media sites - like this one which looked at "What Men Are Really Saying When Catcalling Women"

Who knows, one day we may even see the movie version of ''23 Ways To Have The Coolest Locker In School''.

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