Funding news: Imgur and Andreessen; Lyft and Alibaba

Imgur, the hot photo-sharing site, announced today that it has scored its first round of funding: a cool $40 million from Andreessen Horowitz, with reddit also participating. The nearly 5-year-old San Francisco startup — which boasts more than 100 million unique visitors to its site every month — had so far become profitable by selling ads. The company, which has been known to value its independence, had at one point been rumored to be in talks to be bought by Yahoo.

Lars Dalgaard, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, talked to VentureBeat about Imgur’s unique position of not seeming desperate for outside funding. “I don’t think I have met any others” like the startup, Dalgaard said. “The environment in San Francisco is so funding-oriented. There aren’t many smart companies building important things that don’t factor investment into their strategy for success.”

But Imgur founder and CEO Alan Schaaf told the New York Times he needed more money to expand and move faster. He said he had talked with VCs over the years but never “clicked with any of them until Andreessen.” Schaaf said the funding would go toward hiring more engineers and salespeople.

In other funding news from the city by the Bay:

Lyft, another San Francisco-based startup, closed a $250 million funding round from Chinese Internet giant Alibaba and others. The additional funds will help it compete with ride-sharing competitor Uber and others. The investment reportedly raises Lyft’s valuation to more than $700 million. It has raised a total of $330 million. Other investors in this round were New York hedge funds Coatue Management and Third Point.


Screenshot above from Imgur



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  • Imgur is not a San Francisco startup that bootstrapped. They started in Athens Ohio with funding and help inside the Ohio University Incubator. $25,000.00 plus space and staff support in the Innovation Center . The Innovation Center has a mandate to start companies to create permanent jobs in Ohio, while not requiring equity nor a guarantee that they stay in Ohio or to get paid back should they be a success and move.

    Politicians and the Academic admins at the Innovation Ctr are scrambling to not-explain how they let a “Unicorn” escape and lost the potential $20 million plus their equity could have been worth.