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Tumblr Closes $85 Million Investment Round

Fast-growing blogging platform Tumblr has closed an investment round that attracted new venture capitalists and brought in US$85 million.

The investment round was led by Greylock Partners and Insight Venture Partners. The Chernin Group and Richard Branson also invested in the New York blogging company for the first time. Spark Capital, Union Square Ventures and Sequoia Capital also made new investments.

Tumblr allows anyone to set up a microblog to share content, including multimedia, from a browser, email, desktop or smartphone. One of its main features is "reblogging," which lets users quickly share posts across Tumblr. The service is often compared to Wordpress.com, which allows users to create a blog for free.

"This year alone, we've grown from 2 [billion] to 13 billion pageviews a month, with tremendous international adoption. Mobile pageviews have increased 17 times during that period. And the 30 million blogs on Tumblr now generate more than 40 million posts per day, passing 10 billion total posts just two weeks ago," Tumblr founder David Karp said in an email statement. He added that Tumblr will use the additional investment to continue to scale the blogging platform and focus on the further development of its services.

By comparison, Wordpress supports more than 59 million blogs all over the world, of which about half are hosted on a wordpress.com domain. More than 299 million people view more than 2.5 million pages each month, according to its stats page.

Tumblr's rapidly growing popularity is the main reason that Greylock Partners invested in it, according to its company blog.

"Over the last year or so, it's practically exploded onto the scene -- it seems like every piece of interesting content and expression you see today has been posted on someone's Tumblr. The numbers back that up -- last month the 30 million blogs on Tumblr generated 13 billion page views," John Lilly, partner at Greylock Partners and former CEO of Mozilla, said on the company blog. Greylock has also invested in Facebook and LinkedIn.

Deven Parekh, managing director at Insight Venture Partners, said that Tumblr is a company that is changing the social landscape around the world. "We're excited to be a part of the future of the company, and to include Tumblr among our list of investments that, like Twitter and Flipboard, are fundamentally changing the social paradigm on the Web."

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