NEA Leads $19.3 Million Round for BuzzFeed

The media startup BuzzFeed has raised $19.3 million in a round led by New Enterprise Associates.

Other investors in the New York-based firm were previous investors RRE, Hearst, SoftBank and Lerer Ventures. The founders of Buddy Media, Michael and Kass Lazerow, also participated, Reuters reported.

BuzzFeed, a so-called social media organization that curates an interesting mix of news and photos, has so far raised $46.3 million, including the latest round.

BuzzFeed was started by Jonah Peretti, the co-founder of the Huffington Post, in 2008. It claims 40 million unique visitors each month.

NEA’s Patrick Kerins, who sites on BuzzFeed’s board, told Fortune the social media site has established a significant business model.

“I think BuzzFeed has proven that you can build a meaningful venture-sized business by using that model. It's turned heads, including at big companies in the (Silicon) Valley,” he told the business magazine.

“BuzzFeed has eschewed the normal display stuff, and its success has resulted in a lot more of that type of format being tried by other online publishers. And one of the things we wanted to make sure of was that we raised enough capital to keep Buzzfeed on the cutting edge,” he added.

BuzzFeed plans to use the funds for mobile and video development, editorial hires and international expansion, the company said, even though reports say the startup has failed to use up money raised in a previous round.

But Kerins told Fortune: “It's not true to say the money hasn't been touched. It's a slight misinterpretation that someone might have made after hearing that BuzzFeed didn't 'need' new money. This round was a situation in which the company had interest in raising new money as a cushion to be aggressive in a few areas.”

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