It takes strength or ingenuity to swim upstream and navigate a strong current. More often than not, companies raising sizable venture rounds in this economic climate are relying on their strength (at least when measured by the scale of prior capital commitments). Last week it was hopeful television visionary Sezmi confirming reports of a $33m round. This week, it is aspiring media empire Huffington Post that’s claiming their due.
In a series C round committed singly from Oak Investment Partners, Huffington Post has reported a $25million draw.
The Huffington Post was founded in 2005 to be as a political news and commentary destination on the web. Through a combination of aggregated news offerings and featured original contributions from professional journalists, politicians (Hillary Clinton and Barack Obamo among them), and celebrities, the liberal leaning site has become a top destination when measured by unique audience traffic. The company now labels itself “The Internet Newspaper.”
In 2006 and 2007 their site was voted the best political blog at the Webby Awards.
This election year has also provided a significant boost. Quantcast pegs the company’s current monthly U.S. traffic in excess of 8 million people, approximately 68% of them visiting from home to check up on events (more usage data from Quantcast can be found here).
The company says the new funding will be used to fund general growth, including further development of in-house advertising services, localized versions of the site and also, possibly to fund narrowly focused acquisitions. (Currently the company has a Chicago area local version).
Fred Harman, a general partner at Oak focused on consumer Internet and New Media, will join the board. He’ll sit alongside Eric Hippeau, a managing partner at Softbank and member of Yahoo’s board, co-founders Arianna Huffington and Kenneth Lerer and CEO Betsy Morgan (formerly GM of CBSNews.com).
Rumors and sources claiming knowledge of the new financing pin the valuation, post money, in the range of $85 to $95m.
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