Imgur Gets $40 Million Investment From Andreessen Horowitz
J Thoendell stashed this in Tech
One of tech’s most prolific venture capital firms, Andreessen Horowitz (or “A16Z”), has invested a sizable $40 million in image sharing giant Imgur, Betabeat has learned.
Imgur has been the subject of acquisition rumors for the past year, but has never taken outside money, regardless of how successful they’ve been. According to Imgur CEO and founder Alan Schaaf, Imgur has been approached by almost every VC on the map in the past five years.
“We’ve always been fighting them off,” Mr. Schaaf told Betabeat, “and the reason is because we never really found a good fit.”
I'm happy for them:
Explains Schaaf, “over the course of the five years, we probably met with a dozen VCs and angel investors…but we never really clicked,” he says. The company was generating revenue, so it was never clear why they would need to team up with an outside firm, he tells us. “But once we sat down with Andreessen Horowitz, from the very first meeting we were laughing, coming up with actual ideas on what to do with Imgur and where to take it – it was actually a productive first VC meeting, which is really unusual,” Schaaf adds.
Also of interest: Andreessen Horowitz was the first VC that Imgur ever reached out to, and they only sat down with them this January to begin the discussions.
Reddit was also an investor:
In addition, the Reddit investment will finally formalize the already friendly relationship between the two sites, making them more symbiotic and maybe even more integrated in some way, though Schaaf declined to go into details as to what’s ahead for the two, only saying that there’s no promise of Imgur being Reddit’s “official” image host at this time.
Jenna Wortham of the NYT wrote an article about this funding, too:
Lars Dalgaard, the general partner at Andreessen Horowitz who led the funding round, said the firm had been interested in giving money to Imgur for years. But Imgur resisted until last summer, when its executives agreed to a meeting.
Mr. Dalgaard said that he and his firm were impressed by the company’s traffic and growth figures, and that he sees it as a kind of future-forward looking media and entertainment company.
“Everyone snacks on information,” he said. “People in a meeting or on the elevator who don’t have time to watch a video or get their book back open, but still want something meaningful.”
Snack on information = Bite-sized content. Sweet.
Imgur is YouTube for Images, as Schaaf so fondly refers to it.
More than 30 percent of Imgur’s traffic comes in through the front door. Traffic from Reddit, then Facebook, and a handful of other sites like Pinterest and Twitter, follow shortly thereafter.
“We’ve never been overly reliant on one source, and we’ve currently got very distributed traffic,” COO Strader said.