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Summary:

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has led a $5 million investment round in Henry Blodget’s website Business Insider, which lost about $3 million last year but has been increasing its audience rapidly.

Amazon Founder & CEO Jeff Bezos

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has invested in Henry Blodget’s website Business Insider, according to a report first published by Bloomberg and then confirmed with an internal memo at Business Insider. Bezos led a $5 million series E round that also included participation from RRE Ventures and Institutional Venture Partners.

The new investment brings the total amount of money that Business Insider has raised to $18.3 million. In the memo to staff, Business Insider CEO and editor-in-chief Henry Blodget writes, “This capital will allow us to continue to invest aggressively in many areas of the business, including editorial, tech/product, sales and marketing, subscriptions, and events. As we mentioned last night, it will also allow us to expand our office.”

Blodget tells AllThingsD that “the new deal values the company above the $50 million valuation it earned during its last round in 2011.”

Business Insider reportedly lost about $3 million, or a quarter of its revenue, in 2012, though Blodget says the site turned a small profit in the first quarter of this year. Business Insider is known for its short news pieces and slideshows. According to the BI memo, Jeff Bezos said that he “sees some parallels with Amazon.” Blodget said the site will now include a disclosure statement whenever it writes about Amazon.

 

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  1. Will we now expect H.B. to issue hard-hitting comments about Amazon’s lack of significant profit and lack of transparency?

  2. Laura,
    Is the native advertising model working for new media publishers like Buzz Feed, Business Insider, and others? How well is it working. I read recently that 85% of Business Insider’s revenue still comes from traditional banner ads?

    Native advertising is obviously a much talked about term right now. Whatever you call it, it has it’s ardent supports and stubborn detractors.

    I am trying to better understand how the underlying economics are functioning for companies that are building their business models around native advertising/custom content/sponsored advertorials?

    How much are brands paying for certain publishers/certain campaigns? How much of the publisher’s revenue is coming from native campaigns vs continued RTB banners and the like?

    Many thanks in advance…

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