NEW YORK — BuzzFeed Inc., the online home of quizzes, lists and, increasingly, serious news, got a $50 million investment reported to value the company at $850 million – or about half the New York Times Co.’s market capitalization.
The funding came from venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, whose partner Chris Dixon will join the BuzzFeed board, according to a blog post. The Times reported the valuation, citing a person familiar with the matter. Ashley McCollum, a BuzzFeed spokeswoman, said she couldn’t confirm the figure.
BuzzFeed has emerged as a viral website that averages 150 million visitors a month. By contrast, the Times gets 31 million unique visitors a month to its website, with a circulation of 2.5 million Sunday readers across print and digital. The Washington Post, acquired this year by billionaire Jeff Bezos for $250 million, averages 18.8 million visitors a month.
“The investment from Andreessen Horowitz really validates BuzzFeed, as a company and as an entity. It’s one of the most highly regarded investors in the Valley,” said Paul Sweeney, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. “BuzzFeed has really proven itself to be a real business. It’s moved from being a concept to a real business model.”
BuzzFeed’s coverage includes everything from weighty political journalism and long-form stories that rival traditional publications to autocorrect mishaps and quirky photo lists, such as “10 Pieces Of Proof That Shar-Peis Are Actually Fuzzy Land Manatees.”
The investment values BuzzFeed at seven times its annual revenue, in line with other Internet startups, Sweeney said.