The long-held belief among founders in the publishing business is that venture capitalists don’t like spending big on content companies.
But that received wisdom has aged poorly in recent weeks. Both BuzzFeed and Vice Media, the two outlets that have fronted this latest era of Web-first, youth-focused media companies, have each received big cash infusions from prominent venture firms.
What’s striking about these investments, however, is that in announcing the rounds the VC backers have gone out of their ways to explain them strictly as tech investments. The Vice funding disclosed this week came in matching $250 million chunks, one from cable network A&E and the other from Technology Crossover Ventures. As laid out in the announcement, the TCV money is earmarked to help the edgy news outlet develop “digital products and distribution capabilities.”