What do Sen. Kamala Harris, Toyota, Charles Schwab as well as also Jordan Peele’s brand new movie “Us” all have in common?
They all turned to Reddit to deploy ad campaigns as well as also connect with consumers. The social network’s growth in popularity that has a broad range of advertisers has attracted brand new investors as well as also is usually driving up its valuation.
The company announced Monday the item has raised $300 million at a $3 billion valuation. which’s up through a $1.8 billion valuation when the company took in a $0 million in investment in 2017.
Chinese giant Tencent is usually the newcomer in This kind of series D round, investing $150 million as well as also joining prior investors inside company. With This kind of financing, the company says the item plans to expand internationally as well as also grow its ad platform, targeting the market dominated by Facebook as well as also Google. News which Reddit was raising a round with Tencent as an investor was previously reported by TechCrunch.
Reddit CEO Steve Huffman sat down with CNBC for an interview to discuss the financing as well as also what’s next for the company.
“One of the things which’s been very important to us is usually which we can right now assure advertisers which you are going to have a positive experience on Reddit as well as also potentially even a brand new experience, a brand new way of connecting with customers,” Huffman said. He said Reddit’s commitment to advertisers is usually to make which connection “free through abuse as well as also different kinds of misbehaving.”
Since Reddit was founded in 2005, the item has drawn criticism as well as also concerns over abuse, harassment as well as also piracy on the platform. nevertheless Huffman said the company has invested in better technology to catch abuse as well as also better tools for its users to report the item.
The tools are working, he said. Reddit has grown its appeal to advertisers with 330 million monthly active users, half of whom are between the ages of 18 as well as also 24, a valuable, hard-to-reach demographic. While the company won’t reveal its revenue, the item brought in more than $100 million last year.
“We are reinventing the ads business, both on the technology side as well as also our ability to sell the item as well as also to create a friendly home for users as well as also brands alike,” Huffman said. “So we’ve made steady progress on all of these fronts over the last year, as well as also we feel pretty proud of where we are. as well as also as a result we are seeing a lot of attention through both brands as well as also investors.”
Tencent’s investment is usually notable. Not only is usually Reddit blocked in China, nevertheless the platform is usually known as a bastion for free, unedited speech. nevertheless the investment makes more sense considering which Tencent is usually an investor in some of the video game companies which drive conversations on Reddit. Tencent owns 40 percent of “Fortnite” creator Epic Games. Tencent is usually also a big investor in another social service banned in China. The company became Snap’s largest shareholder in late 2017, as well as also currently owns nearly 15 percent of the public company.
“They are investors in lots of video games companies,” Huffman said. “as well as also video games are one category which’s genuinely favorite on Reddit.”
“We are the only company at our scale which’s still a private company, so we’ve had a lot of investor attention inside last year. So we found ourselves in a not bad position to get something done right right now,” Huffman said.
right now, with This kind of additional financing, Huffman said he hopes to take a piece of Facebook’s as well as also Google’s massive market share in online advertising.
“When we are talking about competing for ad dollars, of course we are talking about Facebook as well as also Google, who take up the vast majority of ad spend.” He said which when the item comes to competition for consumers, “We are competing with anybody, or anywhere people spend their free time.”
One key to growth, Huffman said, is usually creating the Reddit website, which can be cluttered as well as also hard to navigate, easier for newcomers to access.
“When we think about internationalization, obviously which’s our largest opportunity for user growth,” Huffman said. “We still want to get the fundamentals of Reddit working perfectly inside U.S., where we understand the language as well as also the culture, as well as also I still think we have opportunities to do better there.”
Reflecting on a year dominated by negative headlines around Facebook as well as also on Reddit’s own work to make its platform safe, Huffman said Reddit’s growth is usually predicated on eliminating the kind of abuse which can alienate users as well as also brands.
“We’ve learned many lessons in the past, as well as also one of the most important ones is usually which user safety as well as also trust is usually extremely important,” Huffman said. “We’ve also seen inside last year how challenging things can be if you don’t get which right as well as also how high the stakes are. We do believe the stakes are increasing.”
Alongside Tencent, the different investors in This kind of round include Sequoia, Fidelity, Andreessen Horowitz, Quiet Capital, VY as well as also Snoop Dogg.
Correction: Tacit Capital did not invest in This kind of round. Quiet Capital did.