OMG! LOL! NBCUniversal invests $200m in Buzzfeed

Lynsey Barber
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Buzzfeed lands more lolly for lols (Source: Getty)

US media company NBCUniversal has made a $200m (£127m) investment in digital media upstart Buzzfeed, valuing it at more than $1bn.

In addition to the widely rumoured injection of cash, the pair will work together on content for television, movies and the Olympics. They'll also work on advertising content with brands - although neither side expanded on this aspect of the partnership or what form it will take.

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“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,” said Buzzfeed founder and chief executive Jonah Peretti.

"Buzzfeed has built an exceptional global company that harmonises technology, data and superior editorial abilities to create and share content in innovative ways,” added Steve Burke, chief of NBCUniversal, which is part of Comcast.

“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."

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It follows a similar investment in fellow US media startup Vox Media, publisher of websites including The Verge, last week. That investment valued Vox at a similar sum - around $1bn.

That puts both companies' values close to those of established media firms such as the Financial Times and Washington Post.

The FT Group sold for £884m ($1.4bn) to Japanese firm Nikkei just weeks ago, and included several other publications in addition to the famous pink paper. The Washington Post was picked up by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos for $250m in 2013.

While it's known for its listicles and other light-hearted fare, Buzzfeed is increasingly moving into traditional news territory, poaching a number of high-profile staff from British newspapers to fill its news and investigations teams, including Guardian editor candidate Janine Gibson.

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