Reddit has gotten a $50 million boost in funding, led by Sam Altman, president of Y combinator and participation from Alfred Lin of Sequoia Capital and Marc Andreessen of Andreessen Horowitz.
Other investors include PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, Ron Conway, Paul Buchheit, Jared Leto, Jessica Livingston, Kevin and Julia Hartz, Mariam Naficy, Josh Kushner, Snoop Dogg, and Reddit’s CEO Yishan Wong.
The funding will be to used to hire more staff for product development, expand the community management team, build better moderation and community tools, expand mobile offerings, improve the self-serve ad product, build out redditgifts marketplace, pay for growing technical infrastructure and other expenses incurred by “a huge and growing global internet community.”
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In a unique but fitting move, investors have proposed awarding 10% of the proceeds back to the community, “in recognition of the central role the community plays in reddit’s ongoing success.”
When members became curious as to how exactly this is going to happen, Yishan dropped a bomb: they are thinking of creating a specialized cryptocurrency, exchangeable for shares of reddit. One can imagine the formidable logistics of such a venture, as Yishan continued:
“Nothing like this has ever been done before. Basically we have to nail down how to do each step correctly (it is technically, legally, and financially complex), though in our brief consultation with an ex-SEC lawyer, he stated he could find nothing illegal about this plan. Nevertheless, there are something like 30 different things we have to pull off to make this work, so we’re going to try.”
It will also be interesting to see how the advent of such a currency- if/when it materializes- would affect plans to build a dedicated tool accepting bitcoin payments for advertising. The advent of a specialized currency may obviate bitcoin’s necessity, although this can be debated.