List-obsessed news and pop-culture publisher BuzzFeed just raised $19.3 million led by NEA.
Michael and Kass Lazerow, co-founders of Buddy Media, joined the round as new investors, while existing investors RRE, Hearst, SoftBank and Lerer Ventures also participated.
With the investment, Jonah Peretti, founder and CEO BuzzFeed, said he is determined to build “the next great media company.” What does that mean? For starters, one that is “socially native, tech enabled, with massive scale,” according to Peretti.
In December 2012, BuzzFeed passed 40 million unique monthly visitors, according to the company, citing Google Analytics data.
Peretti attributes its growth to close social integration with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and its strong mobile focus -- as mobile now makes up over one-third of all BuzzFeed traffic.
The company also grew revenue more than threefold in 2012, exclusively from content-driven, social advertising, Peretti said. The company now boasts 180 employees, 70 of whom are part of its editorial team led by Editor in Chief Ben Smith.
BuzzFeed also recently hired Jeff Greenspan from Facebook and BBDO as its first chief creative officer.
Greenspan was brought in to keep the focus on sharable branded content for partners such as GE, Virgin Mobile USA, Campbell’s, Microsoft, Pepsi.