August 18, 2015

BuzzFeed | Re/code

BuzzFeed on Tuesday announced that NBCUniversal has invested $200 million in the social news outlet, confirming earlier reports that a major equity deal was in the works for the two media companies.

In a statement on BuzzFeed’s website, founding CEO Jonah Peretti said the investment will be accompanied by collaboration between BuzzFeed and NBCUniversal.

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.

In July, Re/code’s Kara Swisher and Peter Kafka reported that NBCUniversal and BuzzFeed were on the verge of a $250 million deal that would allow the Comcast-owned company to “tap into millennial audiences.”

The investment is the latest vote of confidence in Web-only news organizations from major media companies, which in recent months have poured millions into digital startups. Last year, A&E Networks purchased a 10 percent stake in Vice Media for $250 million, which valued the company at $2.5 billion. NBCUniversal has also bought a stake in Vox Media, a $200 million deal that valued the company at more than $1 billion, per Re/code.

The announcement comes just a few days after Gawker published internal financial documents from BuzzFeed that show the company has become profitable in recent years. In the first half of 2014, BuzzFeed posted a profit of $2.74 million, according to Gawker.

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Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of Poynter.org. He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism…
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