Buoyed by a fresh infusion of USD 50 million in venture capital, social news and entertainment group BuzzFeed has announced a major expansion plan to increase its content and expand global operations to countries like India, Japan, Germany and Mexico.
The company said it has completed its Series E financing of USD 50 million from Andreessen Horowitz, a prominent venture capital firm in Silicon Valley, pushing the website's value up to USD 850 million. The venture capital firm's general partner, Chris Dixon will also join the BuzzFeed Board of Directors.
Under the expansion plan, the New York-based company, founded in 2006, said it will build its brand, scale its business opportunities, grow traffic and revenue faster on the web and mobile and maintain its entrepreneurial culture.
BuzzFeed will rapidly ramp up its international presence, launching BuzzFeed in Mumbai, Mexico City, Berlin and Tokyo this year, the company, which says it has a global audience of 150 million, said in a press release.
BuzzFeed's editorial team will grow and become BuzzFeed News, Buzz, and Life to expand its offerings across the board.
BuzzFeed's video division will expand and become BuzzFeed Motion Pictures.
"Over the last decade, traditional media has been upended by technology, a disruption of the print, video, news, entertainment and advertising industries that is now accelerating at lightning speed," said Jonah Peretti, Founder and CEO of BuzzFeed.
"We created BuzzFeed because people still want to be informed, entertained, and inspired but the way they consume media has dramatically shifted. Today we think the time is perfect to grow our company, build our brand and greatly increase the content we are producing so we can be the number one digital media brand," Peretti said.
The investment from Andreessen Horowitz will allow us to double down on our company's mission by creating a new organisation and expand rapidly in all areas," he said.
The company, which now has 550 employees, has been especially successful at distributing its lists and content through mobile devices and through social sites like Facebook and Twitter, the New York Times reported.
Though Peretti declined to share financial details, he said BuzzFeed's revenue for the first half of 2014 was twice as much as the first half of 2013, the report said.
BuzzFeed is expected to generate revenue in the triple- digit millions of dollars by the end of 2014. the Times quoted Dixon of Andreessen