There's money in them thar cheezburgers. At least, there's money for buying other Internet meme sites.
The Cheezburger Network, home to hit sites like I can has Cheezburger, the Fail Blog, the Daily What, and many others, has bought the popular meme etymology site Know Your Meme. The deal closed last Monday, Cheezburger CEO Ben Huh told CNET.
The deal was first reported by Tubefilter, which said that Know Your Meme, which was a spin-off from Rocketboom, is getting a low seven-figure payday. Huh would not discuss the financials of the deal.
Know Your Meme has become famous as a place where people can go to learn about the origins of some of the Internet's most beloved time-wasters. And that's precisely why Cheezburger bought it. "Right now, we're an entertainment destination," Huh said of the network's many sites. "A lot of the stuff we show doesn't have a lot of content...People require context, history, and origins [which] helps them understand why this is funny or why this isn't funny. And Know Your Meme was probably doing the best job of that out there."
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The Cheezburger Network has grown rapidly in the last couple of years, and scored a $30 million round of funding in January that Huh said is intended to be used to "figure out how to grow the business." And while he doesn't know yet precisely what that means, it's actually the point. "A lot of it is going to be wasted on failures," he said, but "that's what's fun and great about this company, is that we can test" ideas.
Huh said that the Know Your Meme acquisition began to percolate in January, right around the time of the $30 million funding. And while the company has a reputation for buying established sites when it can, rather than building them from the ground up, he added that there are no additional acquisitions on the horizon. But Cheezburger is always looking to create new sites, Huh added.
Know Your Meme brings four employees to the Cheezburger stable, all of whom are in New York. That means, Huh said, that Cheezburger now has Cheezburger West--Seattle, where the company is based--and Cheezburger East. He also said that he intends to use some of the recent funding money to staff up the larger company in New York.
Still, while Cheezburger is intending on adding employees on both coasts, Huh said the Know Your Meme purchase was not directly related to the company's desire to grow its staff. Rather, it was about bolstering the network's ability to do what Know Your Meme does "best, which is to research and document memes and viral phenomena."