Reddit raises $50m in funding round, plans to share some of it with its users

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The so-called ‘front page of the Internet’ has just secured around $50 million in its latest funding round. That’s all well and good, but the most interesting part is that the investors in this particular round look set to give 10 percent of their shares to the Reddit community, a neat gesture when you consider that without those users there’d be no Reddit.

Led by Y Combinator president Sam Altman, himself a long-time and avid Reddit user, the funding round collected cash from a slew of high-profile entrepreneurs and investors, including Peter Thiel, Ron Conway, Jared Leto, Snoop Dogg, and Reddit CEO Yishan Wong, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

Announcing his own financial contribution in a blog post, Altman said he’d been a daily user of Reddit since it started nine years ago, adding that he was “probably in the first dozen people to use the site.”

On the subject of involving the Reddit community in its latest funding round, Altman said it bothered him “that users create so much of the value of sites like Reddit but don’t own any of it.”

As a result, 10 percent of the shares in this round will be handed to community members, with Altman hoping increased ownership among users can be sorted out “over time.”

“If it works as we hope, it’s going to be really cool and hopefully a new way to think about community ownership,” he wrote.

The San Francisco-based company currently employs around 60 people, with the incoming funds expected to go toward building its mobile operation, expanding its gifts marketplace, and covering rising server costs, among other things.

In his post, Altman described the popular social news site as “an example of something that started out looking like a silly toy for wasting time and has become something very interesting.” If you’re new to Reddit but are keen to find out more about how to get involved in the site, take a moment to check out DT’s helpful How to use Reddit guide here.


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