The announcement comes a week after NBCU said it was investing $200 million in digital publisher Vox Media.
NBCU and BuzzFeed said that as part of the investment, which brings BuzzFeed to nearly $300 million raised to date and values the company at around $1.5 billion, the companies will explore strategic partnerships in the coming months. “We look forward to collaborating on television content, movies, the Olympics, and joint partnerships with ad agencies and brands,” BuzzFeed exec chairman Ken Lerer said in announcing the pact.
According to BuzzFeed, the company’s properties reach more than 200 million unique monthly users, who watch more than 1.5 billion video clips each month. BuzzFeed’s growth stems from its focus on generating news and entertainment content, including “listicles,” quizzes and videos, that is engineered and optimized for sharing on social networks.
“BuzzFeed has built an exceptional global company that harmonizes technology, data and superior editorial abilities to create and share content in innovative ways,” NBCU CEO Steve Burke said in a statement. “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.”
New York-based BuzzFeed, founded in 2006, last summer raised $50 million from venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. Previous investors include Lerer Hippeau Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, RRE Ventures, SoftBank Capital and Hearst Ventures.
Regarding NBCU’s stake, BuzzFeed founder and CEO Jonah Peretti said: “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, and we’re excited to partner with NBCUniversal to combine our respective strengths to build the future of news and entertainment.”
Separately, Comcast is prepping an online-video service, dubbed Watchable, set to include content from BuzzFeed and Vox, as well as Vice Media, AwesomenessTV, Fullscreen and the Onion.