Seattle Web startup turned cultural <a href="”>phenomenon Cheezburger raised a tail-curling $30 million from prominent venture capitalists.
Founder Ben Huh has leveraged the success of cute kitten pictures with funny headlines into a major media network of profitable humor Web sites that draw more than 16.5 million people and generates more than 375 million page views per month.
The funding – which is being announced Tuesday – cements Cheezburger’s position in the major league of Web startups – at least in Seattle, where it’s rare for consumer-focused ventures to raise that much capital.
In advance of the funding, Cheezburger built up its leadership last summer, adding a full-time chief financial officer as Huh plotted expanding into New York and Los Angeles.
Leading the investment is Boulder-based Foundry Group, which has backed hits such as social game company Zynga. Also participating in the round are Seattle’s Madrona Venture Group, Avalon Ventures and SoftBank Capital.
“In just over three years, Ben Huh and his team have amassed a treasure trove of websites that mainstream consumers love,” Brad Feld, Foundry’s managing director, said in the release. “Already challenging the online traffic of traditional media companies, Cheezburger has an opportunity to surpass the industry heavyweights to become the world’s largest humor network.”