BuzzFeed, an air-conditioned content factory headquartered in New York City, is quite a bit richer today, thanks to a $50 million investment from the powerful Silicon Valley venture capital outfit Andreessen Horowitz. The news was announced in a lengthy write-up in today’s New York Times Business section:

The investment values the company at about $850 million, according to a person with knowledge of the deal. Now the question is whether BuzzFeed can maintain the agility and skills of a tech start-up while building the breadth of a large media company.

In a personal blog post confirming the news, Andreesseen partner Chris Dixon said he would be joining BuzzFeed’s board as part of the investment’s terms. He went on to explain his firm’s faith in BuzzFeed’s potential to transform the media industry:

BuzzFeed started out focusing on lightweight content like memes, lists, funny photos, etc. This led some industry observers to dismiss Buzzfeed as a “toy.” The company has since moved steadily up market, following the typical path of disruptive technologies.

“BuzzFeed takes the internet and computer science seriously,” Dixon added. Some industry observers may disagree with that statement—including BuzzFeed itself.

Photo credit: Associated Press