BuzzFeed raises another $200 million at the same valuation it had last year
BuzzFeed has raised another $200 million at a valuation of $1.5 billion, the same valuation it had last year, according to documents from CB Insights.
Recode had previously reported that the investment came from NBCUniversal, making the company's investment in BuzzFeed total $400 million.
The flat valuation might signal that a report by the Financial Times earlier this year, which said BuzzFeed had missed revenue targets, bears some truth.
In April, the Financial Times reported that BuzzFeed missed big on its 2015 projected revenue, pulling in $170 million rather than the $250 million it hoped to generate. Worse, the FT says that BuzzFeed's 2016 revenue projection had been chopped in half to about $250 million instead of $500 million.
However, BuzzFeed's chairman Ken Lerer told Business Insider at the time that BuzzFeed's 2016 revenue goal was not changed, and it was never anywhere near $500 million. Instead, Lerer reiterated that BuzzFeed hit its revenue targets for the first quarter of 2016 and is on track to hit its second quarter target. Further, he said Buzzfeed is on pace to meet its 2016 revenue goal.
This latest investment by NBCU continues a trend of traditional TV giants investing in digital upstarts.
Besides BuzzFeed, NBCU has invested $200 million in Vox. Vice has $400 million from Disney, Thrillist's new holding company secured $100 million from Discovery recently, and Refinery29 snagged $45 million from Turner this summer.
All are exploring getting their digital content onto TV.
This summer, BuzzFeed split into two pieces: news and entertainment, which is mostly video-focused. Video is where the major growth at BuzzFeed is, according to The New York Times, which said it would generate half of the company's revenue in 2016, but balloon to 75% over the next two years. The Times said video only made up 15% of BuzzFeed's revenue at the end of 2014. BuzzFeed founder and CEO Jonah Peretti even moved to LA in January, where the entertainment piece of the company is based.
Additional reporting by Alyson Shontell.
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