Portfolio has a long, awkward profile of Funny or Die, the original comedy site known for Will Ferrell’s involvement, in its January issue. (OK I’m just jealous the writer got to interview Zach Galifianakis and Ed Helms.) Besides rehashing the story of The Landlord (which supposedly cost $5,000??) and the market (apparently nobody else is addressing the need for comedy??), the article does offer previously unreported information about the company, namely that it just raised $15 million from Sequoia Capital and unnamed institutional backers that it will use to hire creative people and engineers.
Funny or Die, Portfolio notes, currently has 30 employees and has produced 100 videos in-house. That’s up from 10 employees and “several million dollars” it had back in May, when the New York Times ran its own story. But, as many people have mentioned, the site hasn’t had a break-out hit since The Landlord. Sequoia investor Mark Kvamme told Portfolio he expects Funny or Die to gross “a few hundred thousand dollars in 2007,” and a few million next year. We’ve seen a lot of eight-figure funding rounds for video startups recently, but this is pretty huge for an original content shop. Anyone know the valuation?