Product Hunt, the aggregation site that many people consider a direct competitor to TechCrunch and other tech blogs due to its ability to surface new tech products and startups, has raised a hefty series A, we’re hearing.
We’ve heard that Andreessen Horowitz led the round, and that Product Hunt picked up $6 million at a $22 million valuation (our tipsters were unclear on whether that was post or pre money).
It seems as though A16z has been doubling down on content startups, with RapGenius, Buzzfeed, Imgur and now Product Hunt in its stables. And Reddit rumored to be considering joining the bundle.
“Product Hunt has some advantages when it comes to fundraising,” Product Hunt CEO Ryan Hoover told TechCrunch in August, after its $1 million seed round. “Because investors use it, we don’t have as much of a hard time getting in front of investors.” (Hoover declined to comment on this story.)
In addition to A16z, the company counts Y Combinator, Ashton Kutcher, Abdur Chowdhury, Andrew Chen, betaworks, Brenden Mulligan, Cowboy Ventures,CrunchFund, Google Ventures, Greylock Discovery Fund, Jack Altman, Ludlow Ventures, Naval Ravikant, Nir Eyal, Slow Ventures, SV Angel, Tradecraft and Vayner/RSE as existing investors.
So is Product Hunt the next Michael Arrington? While many startups, like Danny Trinh’s GetCap, have bypassed the traditional tech blog launch in favor of soft launching on the site, others continue to court press as an effective way of gaining new users. In an independent test this past July, the startup Front compared us, Product Hunt and Hacker News as a vehicle for sign ups. TechCrunch came out ahead.
We are huge fans of Product Hunt at TC, and view it more as a supplementary product to what we publish, a startup platform versus a journalistic enterprise. Like Reddit versus the WSJ.
Product Hunt strips each product launch of the context, so users have to be very active about browsing and asking their own questions as opposed to having a journalist do the work for them. Product Hunt provides a pull versus push experience, with the advantage of being personalized to each user. Product launches are only a piece of what we do here at TechCrunch, but we too use Product Hunt in order to find cool products to cover.
Do I consider it a competitor? No, I think we should be much more afraid of Recode.net, for example. After all, Product Hunt can’t scoop its own funding news. ;)