Reddit raises $300 million at $3 billion valuation

What do Sen. Kamala Harris, Toyota, Charles Schwab as well as Jordan Peele’s brand new movie “Us” all have in common?

They all turned to Reddit to deploy ad campaigns as well as 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 is usually driving up its valuation.

The company announced Monday the item has raised $300 million at a $3 billion valuation. which’s up via 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 particular series D round, investing $150 million as well as joining prior investors inside the company which include Sequoia, Fidelity, Andreessen Horowitz, Tacit, VY as well as Snoop Dogg. With This particular financing, the company says the item plans to expand internationally as well as grow its ad platform, targeting the market dominated by Facebook as well as Google.

Reddit CEO Steve Huffman sat down with CNBC for an interview to discuss the financing as well as what’s next for the company.

“One of the things which’s been very important to us is usually which we can today assure advertisers which you are going to have a positive experience on Reddit as well as 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 via abuse as well as different kinds of misbehaving.”

Since Reddit was founded in 2005, the item has drawn criticism as well as concerns over abuse, harassment as well as piracy on the platform. nevertheless Huffman said the company has invested in better technology to catch abuse as well as 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 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 our ability to sell the item as well as to create a friendly home for users as well as brands alike,” Huffman said. “So we’ve made steady progress on all of these fronts over the last year, as well as we feel pretty proud of where we are. as well as as a result we are seeing a lot of attention via both brands as well as 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 currently owns nearly 15 percent of the public company.

“They are investors in lots of video games companies,” Huffman said. “as well as video games are one category which’s definitely 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 the last year. So we found ourselves in a not bad position to get something done right today,” Huffman said.

today, with This particular additional financing, Huffman said he hopes to take a piece of Facebook’s as well as 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 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 doing the Reddit website, which can be cluttered as well as 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 the U.S., where we understand the language as well as the culture, as well as I still think we have opportunities to do better there.”

Reflecting on a year dominated by negative headlines around Facebook as well as 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 brands.

“We’ve learned many lessons over time, as well as one of the most important ones is usually which user safety as well as trust is usually extremely important,” Huffman said. “We’ve also seen inside the last year how challenging things can be if you don’t get which right as well as how high the stakes are. We do believe the stakes are increasing.”