Buzznet, which runs niche sites covering mostly entertainment topics, has raised $12.5 million in a round led by Focus Ventures that also included Anthem Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Redpoint Ventures and Sutter Hill Ventures. Buzznet also announced that it will change its name to Buzz Media, Inc. to more accurately reflect its focus.
Buzznet has been building its portfolio of sites in recent years. It started with its flagship property buzznet.com, and then bought blogs stereogum.com, idolator.com, absolutepunk.com and a few others from owners ranging from VC fund The Pilot Group to Gawker Media. The company's content comes from a combination of in-house editors and user-gen submissions, and runs the gamut of entertainment content, from articles to photos, videos, games and contests.
The online-advertising environment has turned ugly in recent months. But Buzznet's funders are betting that advertisers will see value in sites that publish a combination of in-house and user-submitted content targeted around narrow topic areas.
By Rory Maher