Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m

Reddit plans to use the cash to invest in new features, staff and mobile

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The Independent Online

It’s not often but you find Snoop Dogg rubbing shoulders with Silicon Valley’s elite but the rapper has joined some of the technology scene’s best-known venture capitalists in funding viral news site Reddit.

Reddit, which calls itself the ‘front page of the internet’, has raised $50 million from investors including the Drop It’s Like Its Hot singer alongside Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen, Oscar-winning actor Jared Leto, Sequoia Capital’s Alfred Lin and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel.

Nine-year-old Reddit operates like a forum where people can ‘up vote’ items, regularly spawning viral stories. It has become known for its ‘Ask Me Anything’ threads where everyone from celebrities such as Snoop Dogg himself, to ordinary people with interesting careers or stories invite the community to quiz them.

Despite attracting 133 million users each month, Reddit largely still looks like it did in 2005 and is maintained by just a staff of 60. In a blog post Reddit said it plans to use the cash to invest in new features, staff and building its mobile product.

As part of the deal, the new investors plan to give 10 per cent of their share in the company to Reddit users as a sign of appreciation for their role in making it a success.

Sam Altman, the president of renowned incubator Y Combinator that originally launched Reddit, also took part in the fundraising.

In a blog post Altman said: “reddit is an example of something that started out looking like a silly toy for wasting time and has become something very interesting.”

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Reddit was bought by Conde Nast Publications, the publisher of the New Yorker and Vogue, in 2006 and became a subsidiary of Conde Nast’s parent company Advance Publications. In 2012 Reddit was spun out as an independent company but Advance is still its largest shareholder.

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