The Huffington Post confirmed Monday that Oak Investment Partners invested $25 million last week. I read it on Venture Beat:
HuffPo, as it’s commonly called, is looking to build on its momentum from the presidential race. You’d expect a lot of that energy to dissipate, but early numbers suggest that traffic continued to grow in the weeks after the election. Not that the site is betting solely on politics; it says it will be adding local sections–it already launched a Chicago site–as well as pages focused on entertainment, living, style and the environment. HuffPo plans to spend its new funding on that expansion as well as increased advertising capabilities, acquisitions and an investigative journalism initiative. I hear that video will probably play a big role in its growth and that a book site should be launching soon.
If the advertising climate is as bad as some are predicting, New York-headquartered HuffPo will definitely need all the money it can get. It’s also good to see a news site expanding at a time when almost everyone seems to be cutting back, and to see it putting money into investigative journalism, an expensive but important pursuit that big media organizations are making less and less time for. The site can probably grow in a more cost-effective way than most traditional publications, since so many of its blog posts are written for free.
This is a third-round investment, which means that The Huffington Post already has had a couple of rounds of VC money before this one.
Still, it’s not exactly your super-new technology, clean tech vs. old tech or alternative energy, but there you have it. Traffic is way up, and at least some investors still have money to spend.