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Updated: Mon, 11 Aug 2014 12:43:19 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

BuzzFeed gets $50M from venture cap firm Andreessen Horowitz



Buzzfeed employees work at the company's headquarters in New York January 9, 2014. BuzzFeed has come a long way from cat lists. This month one of its journalists was on the ground in Kiev reporting on the crisis in Ukraine, and last December it published an in-depth article on a Chinese dissident living in Harlem, New York. The kittens haven't disappeared, but these days there is serious journalism as well. Founded in 2006, BuzzFeed is now among the top 10 most-visited news and information sites in the United States. Headquartered in New York, BuzzFeed now has more than 150 journalists, an investigative reporting unit, bureaus in Australia and the United Kingdom, and foreign correspondents in far-flung places like Nairobi and the Middle East. Its expansion comes amid a wave of investor interest in new media companies that are trying to capitalize on a decade-long wave of job cuts at newspapers, and new technology that has upended how news and advertising are produced and distributed. To match Feature USA-MEDIA/BUZZFEED Picture taken January 9, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid (© UNITED STATES - Tags: MEDIA BUSINESS SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY)

Buzzfeed employees work at the company's headquarters in New York January 9, 2014. BuzzFeed has come a long way from cat lists. This month one of its journalists was on the ground in Kiev reporting on the crisis in Ukraine, and last December it published an in-depth article on a Chinese dissident living in Harlem, New York. The kittens haven't disappeared, but these days there is serious journalism as well. Founded in 2006, BuzzFeed is now among the top 10 most-visited news and information sites in the United States. Headquartered in New York, BuzzFeed now has more than 150 journalists, an investigative reporting unit, bureaus in Australia and the United Kingdom, and foreign correspondents in far-flung places like Nairobi and the Middle East. Its expansion comes amid a wave of investor interest in new media companies that are trying to capitalize on a decade-long wave of job cuts at newspapers, and new technology that has upended how news and advertising are produced and distributed. To match Feature USA-MEDIA/BUZZFEED Picture taken January 9, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid (UNITED STATES - Tags: MEDIA BUSINESS SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY) - RTX19CTX Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Media company BuzzFeed has been valued at a reported $850 million after a major Silicon Valley venture capital investor pumped $50 million into the company.

Andreesson Horowitz announced Monday it is investing $50 million in the upstart media startup, and Chris Dixon, a partner at the firm, will be joining the company's board. 

"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 of the transaction in a web posting. "We believe BuzzFeed will emerge from this period as a preeminent media company."

BuzzFeed is just the latest new media company that the venture cap fund has a stake in. Andreessen also owns stakes in Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Pinterest and Foursquare, among others.

Fast-growing audience

Founded in 2006 with a skeleton crew in New York City, BuzzFeed has grown in leaps and bounds by creating hundreds of short, punchy web stories full of lists, GIFs and short videos, which are frequently shared on social media. Currently, the site boasts 150 million viewers per month, and has started pursuing more long-form journalism and has even opened a video production studio in Los Angeles.

The company said in a release it plans to use the funds to expand its editorial and video offerings, as well as expand internationally.

According to the New York Times, which cited people close to the matter, the deal values the whole company at $850 million. Based on how much they've invested, that would mean Andreesson has bought about six per cent of the company.

When asked for comment from CBC News, a spokesman for BuzzFeed declined to offer any more financial specifics.

As a private company, BuzzFeed's finances are not public, but Dixon said Monday the company has been "consistently profitable, and will generate triple digit millions in revenues this year."

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