Reddit raising funds, company's valuation to be $1.7bn
Giving a major boost, venture capitalists are funding popular link-sharing website Reddit that will give the company a total valuation of $1.7 billion. According to reports, Reddit has been looking for investments worth around $150 million. However, a company spokeswoman said no funding has been finalized. Reddit is among the few mid-2000s internet companies that have survived and thrived.
Reddit was founded by University of Virginia students Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian in 2005. The start-up was sold to Conde Nast in 2006; it became a direct subsidiary of Advance Publications (parent company of Conde Nast) in Sep'11. Though Advance is the largest shareholder, Reddit operates independently. It is based in San Francisco and had 100 employees as of 2015.
Many popular online memes originated on Reddit
Reddit has a devoted audience that post links to news, images and videos, on which other users vote to rank their importance. The website has also been the birthplace of several online memes but drew criticism for hosting anonymous, racist and sexist rants. Despite its wide popularity, the company struggled to find a sustainable business model.
Reddit valued at $500mn after $50mn funding round
It saw a rotating cast of Chief Executive Officers over the next few years. In 2014, it raised $50 million in a funding round led by business incubator Y Combinator's Sam Altman. It included investors from Silicon Valley and Hollywood such as Marc Andreessen, Joshua Kushner, Peter Thiel, Snoop Dogg, and Jared Leto.
The return of founders
In Nov'14, Chief Executive of Reddit Yishan Wong had resigned following which co-founder Alexis Ohanian became the full-time Executive Chairman. In Jul'15, the company's interim CEO Ellen Pao resigned and was replaced by Steve Huffman. After coming back, the founders shifted the focus of the company to a long-overdue move into mobile, publisher tools, and revenue generating plans.
Popularity of Reddit
According to web research firm Alexa, Reddit is the fourth most-visited website in the US and seventh in the world. A 2017 report stated that the website had 542 million monthly visitors of whom 234 million were unique users.