New investment to propel BuzzFeed expansion
Buzzfeed is planning fresh expansion on the back of huge new investment.
From pictures of kittens making friends with ducks to serious coverage of global news, Buzzfeed has become a one-stop shop for a massive base of visitors since it launched. Part of its appeal is that everything from news to the most exciting viral content is found in the same place, making lunchtime reading and procrastination easier for everyone. It’s seeking to grow even further now, after it announced it had attracted a $50 million investment that will support its plans to expand.
The editorial team is expected to increase, but it will now be split into three separate teams: Buzzfeed News, Buzz and Life will serve to differentiate between the different types of content and allow each to develop more freely. A test kitchen and food lab will be launched in Manhattan to help generate more original lifestyle content, the firm said, while the number of staff news correspondents across the globe will double.
Meanwhile, the company’s video division will evolve into Buzzfeed Motion Pictures, responsible for everything from GIFs to full-length films.
The exciting news is that producer Michael Shamberg and actor Jordan Peele will be advising the division, which could open doors for potential Buzzfeed feature films down the line.
It’s easy to see what investment firm Andreessen Horowitz sees in Buzzfeed, which has grown from a small site collating viral content into a successful media organisation with 150 million unique visitors each month. Given that Buzzfeed invests heavily in its technology and its engineering talent, the chances are that it will stay at the forefront of the social news revolution for some time to come.
Chris Dixon, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz who led the firm’s investment, said in a blog post that the company has a bright future ahead of it.
“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,” he wrote. “We believe BuzzFeed will emerge from this period as a preeminent media company.”
Rumours abounded a few months ago that The Walt Disney Co. entered talks to try to acquire Buzzfeed, but they fell apart on the thorny question of price. Andreessen Horowitz’s investment values the company at around $850 million – but with such growth potential ahead of it, Disney might just find itself regretting that it couldn’t make a deal.