Buzzfeed plans to go public: What exactly does the company do and how much is it worth?

BuzzFeed, which has 900 employees, is expanding into tech business news, as it seeks to broaden its offering from viral news aggregation

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The Independent US

BuzzFeed, the web platform which embraced the power of listicles and has been valued at $850m, announced that it is planning an initial public offering.

Jonah Peretti, BuzzFeed’s chief executive, confirmed the long-term aspirations of the site, which launched in 2006 as a vehicle for sharable content and is now challenging mainstream news operations.

Speaking at the Code Conference in California, Mr Peretti said: “We're very focused on building out internationally; we’re very focused on building out across multiple different platforms; we're very focused on building out our video business.

“That will give us a diversification ... to allow us to build a big independent company with much more predictability and things that would allow us to be a public company.”

BuzzFeed, which has 900 employees, is expanding into tech business news, as it seeks to broaden its offering from viral news aggregation. The site was valued at $850m in August last year and its video business now records 1.2 billion views per month.

The site, which has 200m monthly unique visitors, scored a coup when David Cameron submitted to a video interview by BuzzFeed News during the election campaign.

However BuzzFeed was forced to apologise last month after articles critical of advertisers were wrongly deleted. Ben Smith, the site’s editor-in-chief, denied the content had been removed to appease advertisers but said he had “screwed up”.

BuzzFeed also unveiled an independent political research team which will fact check candidates in the US 2016 Presidential election and comb the archives to check statements about their previous lives. BuzzFeed has already corrected Hillary Clinton, who said both of her grandparents were immigrants, after checking census records.

Meanwhile the messaging service Snapchat announced that it too is planning an initial public offering. Evan Spiegel told the Code Conference that “we need to IPO (and) we have a plan to do that.”

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