Buzzfeed redefined content marketing. While you may be familiar with their entertaining content online, you may not know that they had to go through the pitch deck process to get where they are today.
Buzzfeed's Original Series A Pitch Deck from 2008
Buzzfeed's original pitch deck from 2008 is a fascinating look into the early days of the company. At the time, Buzzfeed was a relatively unknown startup, but the pitch deck shows that the founders had a clear vision for the future of online content.
One of the key elements of the pitch deck is the emphasis on viral content. The deck states that "viral content is the key to building an engaged audience" and that Buzzfeed's goal is to "create the most viral content on the web." This focus on viral content would go on to become one of the defining characteristics of Buzzfeed, and it's interesting to see that it was a key part of the company's strategy from the very beginning.
Another interesting aspect of the pitch deck is the focus on social media. The deck states that "social media is the key to distribution" and that Buzzfeed will "leverage the power of social networks to distribute our content." This emphasis on social media is particularly noteworthy given that the pitch deck was created in 2008, before the widespread adoption of platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
Now let's analyze the slides, shall we?
BuzzFeed Pitch Deck Teardown
The deck is unique in that it does not follow the traditional structure and format of a pitch deck, but rather uses simple and humble language and data to showcase the company's current standing and future plans.
It is a simple company name followed by a tagline, followed by a "Where We Are" slide that details the company's current corporate stance. Despite the lack of revenue and profitability, BuzzFeed manages to show solid figures through other metrics, such as page views (PV) and unique visitors (UV) counts, even including a reputable review from a trusted news source.
Where We're Headed
The founders then move straight on to future planning with a slide titled "Where We're Headed," which includes their revenue model, which is yet unset, and includes the hiring of an office manager. This is an unusual move, but it paid off for BuzzFeed in this case.
Next, BuzzFeed references its competitors and their competitive stance in a simple and humble circular graph. They also include a considered projection of the growth potential for the company's main project, using existing company names and brands as points of reference.
The deck then goes on to present BuzzFeed's product, which is a 2.0 version of its website. They do this with simple screenshot placements as part of their slide composition and explain the functionality in diverse ways, such as how widgets help and how viral effects are managed.
The revenue model is presented as a free platform and is described succinctly in just 6 lines. The following slides provide a more visual explanation of the advertising views and how they plan to generate content and profitability.
Finally, the deck includes a team slide before wrapping up the presenter's contact information. Interestingly, no names of team members are included, just titles, showcasing that the focus is on the company as a whole rather than individual members.
Overall, BuzzFeed's pitch deck is a unique and refreshing approach to seeking funding, making the best of their data, and focusing on the company's current standing and future plans rather than traditional elements such as team members' pictures.
BuzzFeed’s Investment Rounds
The company was founded in New York City in 2006 by Jonah Peretti, John S. Johnson, and Kenneth Lerer, who is currently the Executive Chairman but originally started out as an investor and co-founder. Their engaging and shareable content on breaking news, entertainment, original content, and videos across the internet reached over 200 million fans. In 2014, Buzzfeed raised $50 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz, more than doubling their previous round and valuing the company at around $850 million.
BuzzFeed has raised a total of $696M in over 10 funding rounds.
Buzzfeed is a digital media company that produces a wide variety of content, including news, entertainment, and lifestyle articles. The company was founded in 2006 and has grown to become one of the most popular and influential online publishers, with a monthly audience of over 7 billion people. Buzzfeed's content is known for being shareable, relatable, and often humorous.
The company also produces a number of popular web series and has a strong presence on social media platforms. In addition to its website, Buzzfeed also operates a number of offshoot sites, such as Buzzfeed News and Tasty, a popular food-focused site.