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Tuesday January 18, 2011 2:00 pm

LOLCats Cheezburger Network picks up $30 million in funding

cheezburger network fundingVenture capital firms have thrown $30 million behind one of life's simplest pleasures: looking at funny pictures of cats and writing hilarious captions to go with them.

The Cheezburger Network, the company that owns the humor and feel-good site I Can Has Cheezburger?, just got a whopper influx of cash, which it says will be used to update existing sites and tools, expand its staff, and perhaps acquire new Web sites.

The investments are led by Foundry Group, Avalon Ventures, Madrona Venture Group, and SoftBank Capital. Brad Feld of Foundry, Greg Gottesman of Madrona, and Rich Levandov of Avalon will join the Cheezburger board.

The funding means "that we are going to be able to provide you with even more content and an even better user experience," Jen Nausin, marketing director for the Cheezburger Network, said in a blog post. "As it relates to specific features, this might sound crazy, but honestly, we're not sure what's coming yet. We're a company that's about testing ideas and understanding what our users want from us so keep your feedback coming!"


Cheezburger CEO Ben Huh told Reuters that one of the company's priorities will be to double the number of employees. Already, the Seattle-based organization has posted more than a dozen new jobs ads on its Web site. The positions include developers, advertising sales staff, a Web designer, and a social media coordinator.

"Starting today we're looking to hire outstanding engineers, product managers, advertising salespeople, social media coordinators and many other positions," Nausin wrote.

Although Huh did not explicitly announce whether any major acquisitions were in the works, he would not rule out the possibility either. In 2010, the company made a move to purchase Reddit, which is owned by Conde Naste, though the deal never went through.

Cheezburger's flagship site was founded in 2007. The company also runs the FAIL blogThe Daily What, and Memebase.

Cheezburger is currently reaching 16.5 million monthly visitors, has close to 2 million Twitter followers, and 1 million Facebook fans, in its mission to "make the world happy for five minutes a day."

This article, written by Jill Duffy, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of ZDNet.



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