Buoyed by stock market mania, Reddit raises fresh capital
Reddit has raised fresh capital as part of a move to fund expansion of the online bulletin board at the center of the recent stock market frenzy Olivier DOULIERY AFP/File

Reddit, the online bulletin board at the center of the recent stock market frenzy, said Tuesday it had raised some $250 million at a reported valuation of $6 billion to fuel expansion of the service.

With some 50 million daily users, Reddit remains one of the most visited websites, but has been eclipsed in recent years by rival social media platforms.

Reddit, which hosts online chats about numerous topics and whose "subreddit" known as WallStreetBets sparked an upheaval on Wall Street, said it hopes to invest for growth and would be doubling its workforce.

The California startup launched in 2005 said it raised more than $250 million from existing and new investors and would make "strategic investments" in video, advertising, consumer products and expansion into international markets.

Media reports said the funding round doubled Reddit's valuation to $6 billion.

"We continue to invest in building and improving the ways people on Reddit connect -- whether that's traditionally through text-based discussions or through video or live streaming," a Reddit blog post said.

"Our more recent developments have included acquiring the short-form video platform Dubsmash to bring highly polished video creation tools to our platform and encourage under-represented creators to find a home on Reddit."

Reddit drew attention when the WallStreetBets group fueled a spectacular rise in shares of video game retailer GameStop and other struggling firms which were being targeted by big investment firms taking "short" positions, betting the shares would fall.

The result was a roller-coaster ride for these shares which has sparked concerns about market manipulation and calls for investigations.

Reddit, which calls itself "the front page of the internet", allows users to join discussion groups on a range of topics and has hosted "ask me anything" forums with the likes of Barack Obama and Bill Gates.

But it has also faced challenges dealing with toxic content and misinformation and last year banned a forum used by president Donald Trump supporters as part of a crackdown on hateful posts.

© 2021 AFP