By Sahil Patel
BuzzFeed has raised $50 million from venture capital giant Andreessen Horowitz, and will use those funds to expand the company’s business beyond the lists its primarily known for.
The company plans to “invest significantly more in high-quality content in the coming years,” said Chris Dixon, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, in a blog post about the deal.
This begins with the rebranding of BuzzFeed Video to BuzzFeed Motion Pictures, which will remain under the leadership of web-video pioneer Ze Frank. As first reported by The New York Times, BuzzFeed will put more resources behind the LA-based video division. The goal is to create more content across a variety of formats — from the short-form, shareable videos that BuzzFeed already pumps out on a daily basis, to 22-minute shows and potentially even feature-length films in partnership with Hollywood studios.
Other changes coming to BuzzFeed as part of the investment include a new “in-house incubator” for new technology and acquisitions.
All of it is with an eye toward building BuzzFeed into the next great media company.
While largely known for its “lightweight like memes, lists, funny photos, etc,” the company has already built a business that is “consistently profitable,” said Dixon, adding that it will “generate triple digit millions in revenues this year.” (The company reportedly reaches more than 150 million unique visitors per month.)
What AH is banking on, is that BuzzFeed will be able to transfer its current successes to the new fields it plans to expand to.
“We’re presently 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,” Dixon said. “We believe BuzzFeed will emerge from this period as a preeminent media company.”
As part of the investment, Dixon will join the company’s board of directors. The deal values BuzzFeed at $850 million.