I Can Has 30 million Cheezburgers

Jan 21, 2011, 2:38 AM | Updated: Mar 28, 2011, 3:46 pm

Pictures of adorably cuddly animals, cats with captions and videos of people doing stupid stuff. Does that sound like a company someone would invest $30 million in?

BenHuhThat’s the amount of money venture capitalists are giving the I Can Has Cheezburger Network. The company started in Seattle when Ben Huh bought a little humor website from two of his friends. His network now includes dozens of humor websites from LOLcats to the Fail Blog and The Daily What. And it started with a simple mission of making people laugh for five minutes a day.

“Humor is probably the first language of the Internet,” he says.

His network of websites attracts more than 16.5 million unique visitors and 375 million page views per month. All of this, from a guy who admits he’s personally not that funny.

“I was actually not always the funny guy in the crowd. I’m more of a pretty serious business guy, but I also recognize that humor is an important part of every day life,” Huh says.

He’s a smart business guy who found out exactly one week ago that he has $30 million dollars to play with. I asked him if he knows what he’s going to do with that much money.

“To be honest, no,” he says. “We told people that when we were raising this money they’d ask, ‘What are you using it for?’ We have immediate needs. We want to make a better platform for our users, we want to make our websites look better, we want a faster system. All of it.”

Huh’s websites have always been profitable, but this extra investment will allow them to experiment more and try new things. If those new features and services don’t work they’ll scrap them right away. If they do work, Huh says they’ll “blow it out and make it really big.”

The first step is to hire more people. The company, in Seattle, has about 50 employees now. They’ll double that this year. They’ve already posted job opportunities for computer programmers and sales staff. The Cheezburger network is also looking for a social media coordinator and an epic shirt designer.

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I Can Has 30 million Cheezburgers