BuzzFeed gets $200 mn from Comcast's NBCUniversal
WASHINGTON - Agence France-Presse
AFP photoBuzzFeed said Aug. 18 it secured a $200 million investment from Comcast's NBCUniversal, the latest major cash infusion into the digital news sector.
The deal values the "social news" pioneer at some $1.5 billion, according to several media reports. The companies did not comment on the valuation terms of the investment.
"It's a fascinating time for the media industry; social, mobile, digital, and broadcast platforms are converging to create new opportunities to connect with global audiences," said Jonah Peretti, BuzzFeed's founder and chief executive.
"We're excited to partner with NBCUniversal to combine our respective strengths to build the future of news and entertainment," he said.
The news comes just a week after NBCUniversal announced a similar $200 million injection into another digital news group, Vox Media, and highlights the potential seen in online news as consumers move away from traditional media.
BuzzFeed and NBCU said that as part of the investment, the two companies will explore "strategic partnerships." This could involve sharing of content between BuzzFeed and the vast NBC television operations.
"BuzzFeed has built an exceptional global company that harmonizes technology, data and superior editorial abilities to create and share content in innovative ways," said Steve Burke, CEO at NBCUniversal.
"They reach a massive, loyal audience and have proven to be among the most creative, popular and influential new media players. We are pleased to be making this investment and for our companies to partner and work together."
The investment follows Monday's announcement that BuzzFeed would launch a Japanese news website in a partnership with Yahoo Japan, the latest step in a global expansion push.
BuzzFeed is one of the largest pure-play digital websites, claiming to reach some 200 million users worldwide.
With its recent expansion, the group says some 45 percent of traffic now comes from outside the United States.
BuzzFeed, founded in 2006 by Huffington Post co-founder Peretti, was known for offbeat "shareable" news but has been investing in new staff and technology as it expands globally.