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News startup BuzzFeed raises millions in new round

BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief and moderator Ben Smith asks questions of entertainment executives during the University of Southern California's S
BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief and moderator Ben Smith asks questions of entertainment executives during the University of Southern California's S

(Reuters) - News website BuzzFeed, one of the more interesting news business models to emerge in recent years, has raised $19.3 million in new capital, the company said on Thursday.

The round was led by venture capital firm NEA along with previous investors RRE, Hearst, SoftBank and Lerer Ventures. The founders of Buddy Media, Michael and Kass Lazerow, also participated.

The money will be used for mobile and video development, editorial hires and international expansion, the company said in a release.

BuzzFeed has skyrocketed in popularity and has caught the eye of media watchers for its innovative mix of news and advertising, including a mix of high- and low-brow content, photos driven by social media and sponsored stories.

The company said it has 40 million unique visitors a month. Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith runs an editorial team of 70.

BuzzFeed was started by Jonah Peretti, the co-founder of the Huffington Post, in 2006. It has raised $46 million in total.

(Reporting By Jennifer Saba in New York; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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