NBCUniversal is doubling down on its commitment to BuzzFeed with another $200 million investment, which will reportedly value the viral publisher at roughly $1.7 billion, according to Recode, which first reported the deal. NBCUniversal formerly invested $200 million in BuzzFeed back in August 2015 — then valuing the company at $1.5 billion.
And BuzzFeed isn’t NBCU’s only wager in the digital media sphere. At the same time that it tendered a $200 million investment in BuzzFeed, the company also invested $200 million into Vox Media — valuing the owner of sites like The Verge, Racked, and Recode at $850 million last August.
“We have a great relationship with NBCU,” BuzzFeed spokesperson Carole Robinson told Recode, though she declined to comment on the reported investment. “We’re always talking about broadening the relationship as part of our plan to grow as an independent company.” NBCU also declined to comment.
Recode notes that the $400 million that NBCU has allocated toward BuzzFeed makes it one of the most-invested companies in the digital space — on par with Vice Media, which has received roughly $400 million in funding from Disney. Reports have also swirled in recent months that Disney is set to acquire Vice — despite the seemingly conflicting nature of both brands.
While BuzzFeed missed its revenue goals in 2015, according to Recode, earlier this summer the company announced its decision to split into two divisions: BuzzFeed News, to be led by Ben Smith, and BuzzFeed Entertainment Group (BFEG), which is being helmed by longtime web video innovator Ze Frank. In a memo to staffers, BuzzFeed founder Jonah Peretti explained that the shakeup served to make video a ubiquitous priority throughout the entire company as opposed to just a single department.