In what might seem as a very crazy thing to do, especially in times like this when an entrepreneur could be said to be successful when his startup is bought at a mouth watering price by a bigger investor, as the CEO of Buzzfeed, a digital publishing company, Jonah Peretti has turned down a huge offer from Disney which was amounting to over $500 Million.
According to Jonah, “There were a lot of things we wanted to do, and remaining an independent company just in my gut and my bones felt like the right path.There were a lot of things we wanted to do, and remaining an independent company just in my gut and my bones felt like the right path.. This is especially true considering the fact that he would have to give up the control of his company in the process.
Seeing their numbers, you might be forced to reason in the same line as Jonah, as In 2015, NBCUniversal was reported to be investing $250Million in Buzzfeed at a $1.5Billion valuation. The company was also reported to have turned in more than $100Million in revenue for FY2014 and $167Million for FY2015 which signified a 67 percent YoY growth for Buzzfeed. It is anticipated that this growth continues year on year. Also, they were reported to have received 200Million visitors per month in 2015.
If i were the CEO, maybe i would have done same, because those numbers are damn encouraging and the company looks very promising right now, so don’t crucify him yet.
Now its not just the numbers as Buzzfeed are taking certain steps hinted at expansion. They recently hired Mark Schoofs to lead their investigative journalism, alongside pushing video which is now half of their revenue. In addition to what was said in the interview with Alyson, their willingness to have their content live outside their website (digital asset) is seen to be not a too cool idea as it goes against the famous practice, where the goal is to keep users glued to your website/service in order to maximise ad revenue.