Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Silicon Valley Investors Flock to Massive Upstart Humor Site 9GAG

9GAG — the fast-growing community site for memes, comics and other Internet humor — has raised $2.8 million.

I wrote a profile of 9GAG — which went through Dave McClure’s 500 Startups incubator, kind of — back in April. That story mentioned this round of funding and the names of some of the investors, though the company wouldn’t confirm it at the time.

What’s interesting to note now is who has invested, particularly since there’s a lot of derision for 9GAG from the denizens of message board sites like Reddit and 4chan, who say it rips off their content. Of course, Reddit and 4chan aren’t exactly traditional investment opportunities.

Silicon Valley investors have flocked to put their money into Hong Kong-based 9GAG. The seed round was led by True Ventures and Freestyle Capital, with Greycroft Partners, 500 Startups, Scott Banister, Chris Sacca, David Tisch, Kevin Rose, Tim Ferriss, Gary Vaynerchuk, Ben Ling, Karl Jacob, James Hong, Philip Kaplan and others.

Why? Because 9GAG is huge. It has more than 70 million global unique visitors and more than a billion page views — per month.

For instance, investor Tony Conrad of True Ventures talked up the “potential of 9GAG as a viral distribution platform” in a statement.

9GAG today is also releasing an iPhone app, and said an Android version is on the way.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald