Reddit has raised $200 million in new venture funding and is now valued at $1.8 billion, according to an interview published today with CEO Steve Huffman. The funding comes from Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Sam Altman and more.
Reddit is a news/content aggregation and discussion site. They dub themselves the “front page of the internet,” boasting over 250 million users in 217 countries and territories. The new round of funding is the site’s largest ever and will go towards redesigning its iconic bare-bones home page, as well as integrating user-uploaded video.
The company will begin to rewrite old code, some of it around a decade old, and design the website to make it more akin to popular social media sites today. An early version of the new design is rumoured to look like a newsfeed, with a never ending stream of content broken up into cards. Huffman said he wants the site to appear more inviting to new users.
Eighty per cent of Reddit’s users still visit the site on a desktop browser, so a redesign from there is the logical beginning point. It is a massive undertaking though, and Huffman is planning on more than doubling the site’s employee base by the end of year, growing from 140 to about 300.
Reddit only spends about 20 per cent of its resources on advertising. Huffman told Recode in the interview that making money is “not our top priority,” and the company is currently not profitable. There are paths to liquidity if need be and those plans usually lead to an eventual IPO, but that is not on the table for the company at this time.
In an announcement on Reddit, Huffman replied to a question about conditions for the new funding saying “the main requirement is that we grow the business so one day they get a return.”
Over the past year or so, Reddit has made a push to boost its mobile imprint. Many other sharing and social media platforms focus extensively on mobile, but Reddit’s first ever mobile app came out in 2016. It generates a lot of longevity from users though—about 20 percent of total users access the site on mobile devices, but they account for 50 percent of time spent there.