Buz­zFeed moves to Ja­pan in Ya­hoo part­ner­ship

The China Post - - WORLD BUSINESS -

Buz­zFeed an­nounced plans Mon­day to launch a Ja­panese news web­site in a part­ner­ship with Ya­hoo Ja­pan, the latest step in a global ex­pan­sion push.

The an­nounce­ment marks a de­par­ture from prac­tice for the so­cial news web­site, which has gone alone in launch­ing in the UK, Brazil, France, Aus­tralia, In­dia, Ger­many, Mexico and Canada.

“We’ve been re­ally suc­cess­ful with the wholly owned and op­er­ated, or­ganic-growth model we’ve used for launches in other coun­tries, but in Ja­pan we want to open with a part­ner who can help ac­cel­er­ate our growth,” Buz­zFeed pres­i­dent Greg man said.

“This is why a joint ven­ture makes the most sense. We put a lot of thought into find­ing the right part­ner. Be­yond look­ing at pure reach, we wanted to find a team that has lo­cal cul­tural knowl­edge, es­tab­lished clients and strong rev­enue num­bers.”

Coleman said Ya­hoo Ja­pan “is a per­fect fit be­cause it is a pure­play dig­i­tal com­pany un­teth­ered to the legacy con­straints of tra­di­tional media” and added that “we have many of the same philoso­phies and ap­proaches.”

Ya­hoo Ja­pan is a joint ven­ture with Ja­panese-based tech firm Soft­bank and the U. S.- based

Cole- Ya­hoo Inc, which has said it is ex­plor­ing op­tions for its stake.

Buz­zFeed will hold a ma­jor­ity stake in the new ven­ture, which “means we’ll have ed­i­to­rial and cre­ative in­de­pen­dence” for the op­er­a­tion, Coleman said.

Ya­hoo Ja­pan “will ad­vise the joint ven­ture on cul­tural mat­ters, drive traf­fic to Buz­zFeed Ja­pan and own the sales chan­nel to bring Buz­zFeed Ja­pan to mar­ket,” he added.

Buz­zFeed is one of the largest pure-play dig­i­tal web­sites, claim­ing to reach some 200 mil­lion users world­wide.

With its re­cent ex­pan­sion, the group says some 45 per­cent of traf­fic now comes from out­side the United States.

Last year, the Sil­i­con Val­ley in­vest­ment group An­dreessen Horowitz led a US$ 50 mil­lion in­vest­ment round which val­ued Buz­zFeed at a re­ported US$850 mil­lion.

Some re­ports have said Buz­zFeed is set to an­nounce a US$200 mil­lion in­vest­ment from NBCUniver­sal, a unit of Com­cast, which could lift its value to US$ 2.5 bil­lion.

Buz­zFeed, founded in 2006 by Huff­in­g­ton Post co- founder Jonah Peretti, was known for off­beat “share­able” news but has been in­vest­ing in new staff and tech­nol­ogy as it ex­pands glob­ally.

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