BuzzFeed, the Internet’s biggest time suck, announced in a press release today that it has raised $20 million in a series D round led by NEA Ventures, bringing its total raised to $46.3. In addition to churning out more image-heavy listicles and starting spats with fellow popular Internet properties like Gawker and The Oatmeal, BuzzFeed intends to use the money to “build the next great media company.”
A year ago, BuzzFeed hired its editor-in-chief, Ben Smith, away from Politico in an attempt to broaden the depth of serious news coverage on the platform. It worked, kind of: the site’s election coverage was impressive, and there has been more emphasis on longform narrative, but it can be difficult to reconcile serious political news and contemplative pieces with goofy native ads like “10 Easy Steps to Building the Ultimate Snack Stadium”–even if the latter finances the former.
“We think BuzzFeed will be one of the great media companies of the next decade,” said NEA investor Patrick Kerins in a statement.
Indeed, look bald-faced into the future of a new new new media company: according to BuzzFeed founder Jonah Peretti, it is “socially native, tech enabled, with massive scale.” Perhaps, it’s a new iteration of the “mullet strategy” he’s talked so much about. Top posts (currently including ScarJo looking like Christopher Walken and “How I Lost My Virginity, In GIFs) lure in readers for more thoughtful fare.
Financing and running a sustainable media company in this day and age is no small feat, and BuzzFeed has the added hurdle of attempting to establish itself as a reliable news organization while also churning out sillier content. This new raise will undoubtedly put more pressure on the company to bulk up its credibility.
Nonetheless, we eagerly await the BuzzFeed post, 10 Reasons We Raised $20M to Write More Things Like “Pretty Japanese Girls React to Drinking Poop Wine.” We’d definitely click on it.