BuzzFeed plans to make video a larger part of its business under the newly created BuzzFeed Motion Pictures, and it has raised a sizeable amount of funding to grow that division.
The New York-based website known for its viral content has raised $50 million from Andreessen Horowitz, according to the New York Times. The deal values BuzzFeed at about $850 million.
Andreessen Horowitz partner Chris Dixon, who will join BuzzFeed’s board, also announced the investment on his blog.
“I believe the future of BuzzFeed — and the media industry more generally — will only get brighter as the number of people with Internet-connected smartphones grows, and the Internet solidifies its place as the central communication medium of our time,” he wrote.
A large portion of that money will go to BuzzFeed Motion Pictures, the company’s video arm led by YouTube creator Ze Frank in Los Angeles. The funding will also be used to create new content sections and an in-house incubator for new technologies, per the Times.
BuzzFeed has put a premium on video in recent years, establishing a beachhead in Los Angeles and presenting its strategy in front of advertisers at the Digital Content NewFronts.
BuzzFeed Motion Pictures will produce everything from six-second videos to long-form episodic series to feature-length films. The company will look to work with Hollywood studios in addition to independently distributing the content on BuzzFeed, YouTube and other digital platforms.
BuzzFeed is led by Huffington Post co-founder Jonah Peretti, who, along with editor-in-chief Ben Smith, was named to The Hollywood Reporter’s annual list of the Most Powerful People in Media. The company announced on Aug. 7 that former Huffington Post executive Greg Coleman had been appointed president, filling the role vacated by Jon Steinberg, now CEO of MailOnline North America.