Digital

BuzzFeed.com
Instagram: @buzzfeed
Twitter: @buzzfeed‏

Snapshot

Total funding: $500 million

Revenue: $300 in 2018

Valuation:

BuzzFeed generated more than $300 million in sales in 2018, yet remains unprofitable. The company is counting on brand partnerships and commerce to reach profitability, which could be possible based on the recent success of its Tasty collaboration with Walmart.

Direct Competitors: Mic, Group Nine Media, Mashable and Vox Media.

2019

  • Launches “shoppable recipes” feature, which allows customers to add the ingredient list from a Tasty video to a Walmart Online Grocery cart and be delivered to customer’s homes or picked up at a Walmart store.
  • Hires Samantha Henig from the New York Times as the Executive Editor of Strategy to manage building revenue through events, membership, podcasts and ad sales.
  • Continues to expand Tasty via licensing deals, including an ice cream collab with Nestlé, spices with McCormick, a kitchen appliances collab with Cuisinart and more. It plans to expand the Tasty brand abroad through other collabs, as well as amplify its advertising business via packaging and in-store promotions. 
  • Expects to double revenue from BuzzFeed-branded products in 2019 to $260 million. 
  • Plans to produce more than 20 video programs tied to its editorial verticals in 2019, which its predominantly runs on YouTube.
  • Announces two new advertising products: 1) branded commerce posts, which tap into BuzzFeed’s editorial expertise to create content for brands and promote their products via affiliate links; and 2) shoppable ads.
  • Lays off about 220 employees (15% of its staff), largely from its news and international divisions. 
  • Twitter renews “AM to DM” for another year. The show receives an average of 400,000 live views each day.
  • Netflix does not renew “Follow This” for a second season. 
  • Readership rises to about 690 million monthly readers. 
  • Launches a new Facebook Watch interactive trivia show, “Outside Your Bubble.” 

2018 

  • Makes an estimated $300 million in 2018 revenue. An estimated $130 million came from BuzzFeed-branded products. The company also said that more than $50 million of this revenue stemmed from sales that merged ads with commerce.
  • Lays off 20 employees but hires 45 new staff members in creative, strategic planning, pricing, business development and programming roles.
  • Debuts BuzzFeed Reviews, including a video series called “Worth It” that tests expensive and cheaper versions of the same product. 
  • Launches membership program.
  • Launches As/Is, a new vertical about positive body image. 
  • Tasty’s product line launches at Walmart. Tasty accounts for 25% of BuzzFeed Product Labs (now BuzzFeed Commerce) revenue and is the largest source of non-advertising revenue for BuzzFeed as a whole. As of June 2019, the company has sold more than 4 million products from the Walmart line with plans to expand the assortment from 90 to 120 SKUs.
  • BuzzFeed and Macy’s launch an exclusive, Goodful-branded line of home goods. 
  • Ben Kaufman, BuzzFeed’s CMO, opens the first Camp, a toy store in New York.  
  • Launches a membership program for BuzzFeed News for $5 a month.
  • Debuts “Follow This” on Netflix, which BuzzFeed calls “short-form Netflix Original Documentary Series.”  
  • Launches “Profile,” a show on Facebook Watch. 
  • Introduces BuzzFeed Partner Innovations, a merchandise and marketing consulting agency. 

2017 

  • Misses its annual revenue target by 15-20%, resulting in layoffs for 100 employees (about 6% of the company’s staff).
  • Tasty becomes BuzzFeed’s most-followed page. 
  • BuzzFeed Commerce launches the Glamspin, which becomes a best-seller at Sephora. 
  • Debuts Bring Me, a travel vertical. 
  • BuzzFeed News and Twitter debut “AM to DM,” a millennial-oriented morning talk show streamed on Twitter. 
  • Launches a new show on Facebook Watch, “RelationShipped.” 

2016

  • Raises an additional $200 million in funding from NBCUniversal.
  • Acquires Scroll, and launches BuzzFeed Product Labs (now BuzzFeed Commerce) as the company’s in-house product development arm (it also manages licensing and strategic partnerships). Ben Kaufman heads the initiative, first releasing the Tasty cookbook. The company sold more than 800,000 cookbooks.
  • BuzzFeed Commerce begins after BuzzFeed acquires Homesick Candles, a company founded by Ben Kaufman that sells scents reminiscent of various states, cities and places. BuzzFeed also launches Homesick for the Holidays in New York, a temporary store off of the Homesick Candles line.
  • Debuts Goodful, a wellness vertical, and Nifty, for DIY crafts, in the tradition of Tasty. Other verticals launch in 2016 and 2017, which later fold. 

2015

  • Launches Top Knot, a beauty video vertical à la Tasty.
  • Launches Tasty, a video vertical featuring food and recipes. 
  • Raises $200 million from NBCUniversal.

2014

  • Receives $50 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz. 

2006

  • BuzzFeed is founded by Jonah Peretti as an experimental site.