BuzzFeed Signs Partnership With Yahoo Japan

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BuzzFeed has signed a joint venture with Yahoo Japan, which until recently was the country’s top search portal before Google gained a slight lead.

After expanding into eight countries (the United Kingdom, France, Australia, India, Germany, Mexico, and Canada) with localized news feeds, BuzzFeed says that 45 percent of its total traffic in July came from outside the U.S. Its deal with Yahoo Japan, however, marks the first time that BuzzFeed has found a local partner for an international launch.

Yahoo Japan will help BuzzFeed navigate language and cultural difference in Japan, which can be a difficult market for foreign companies to tackle, and also give its headlines an instant audience. Yahoo Japan claims to reach 88 percent of all Japanese Internet users, with 56 billion page views generated per month. About half of its users are aged 20 to 39, the same age bracket BuzzFeed targets.

Yahoo Japan itself is a joint venture between an American company (Yahoo) and a Japanese one (SoftBank). BuzzFeed says it will provide Yahoo Japan with its brand, proprietary tech platform, and native advertising, while maintaining “editorial and creative independence.”

BuzzFeed has raised $96.3 million in five funding rounds so far, the most recent of which was a $50 million Series E round led by Andreessen Horowitz and disclosed in August 2014.