In a deal that combines some of the Internet’s most loved memes with the definitive site chronicling them, the Cheezburger Network has acquired Rocketboom’s Know Your Meme. The acquisition, first reported by Tubefilter and confirmed by Rocketboom and Cheezburger, was reportedly valued in the low seven digits — though neither party would publicly comment on the price.
Know Your Meme was created in 2007 as a complement to videos Rocketboom was creating at the time. The site included a wiki designed to curate all the memes that were hitting the Internet, as well as a blog to chronicle all the latest meme news. But the most famous part of the project was probably the long-running Know Your Meme web show, which provided easy-to-understand video companions to many of the Internet’s most (in)famous memes.
The addition of Know Your Meme to the Cheezburger Network looks like a match made in heaven; after all, KYM will bring some editorial content that Cheezburger had previously lacked. In a phone interview, Cheezburger founder Ben Huh said he plans to keep the content and format of Know Your Meme the same. “We bought [Know Your Meme] because we like it, not because we want to do change it,” Huh said.
Huh also confirmed that the four Rocketboom employees who had been working on the site were joining Cheezburger, and the company would be giving them additional resources and tools to “do what they do best.” That could include a reboot of the web series, which Cheezburger acquired along with the other assets. Know Your Meme currently has about 3 million monthly uniques and more than 20 million page views, according to Rocketboom founder Andrew Baron, but adding it to the Cheezburger network could help accelerate that. Huh also believes that leveraging Cheezburger’s ad sales relationships could help put the property into the black.
Cheezburger raised $30 million in January from a group of venture capital firms that included Foundry Group and SoftBank Capital. While Huh said the company would probably make more acquisitions in the future, he said there were no deals currently on the table.
Meanwhile, the deal gives Rocketboom and Baron some much-needed capital. In January, Baron told GigaOM he had invested more than $700,000 of his own money in Rocketboom during 2010 before running out of cash. Soon thereafter, long-time employees Kenyatta Cheese and Ellie Rountree left, along with four or five other Rocketboom employees and contributors. Rocketboom will continue to operate without Know Your Meme, focusing on its own original programming, as well as its Magma viral video tracker.