NBCUniversal has revealed that it invested $500m (£408m) in Snap during its IPO as part of a strategic partnership. The investment makes NBCUniversal the first US media entity to have a stake in the multinational tech and social media company.
The investment means NBC joins China’s Alibaba and Tencent – who invested in Snap before the IPO – on a global scale, as the only major strategic investors in Snap.
The investment is the latest in a $1.5bn digital media asset spree that NBC has been on in the last 18 months. Under the direction of its CEO Steve Burke, it has previously invested $400m in Buzzfeed and $200m in Vox. It also recently acquired SportsEngine, a digital business for youths involved in local team sports, and Awesomeness TV, as part of the acquisition of DreamWorks Animation.
In a note to employees, obtained by Recode, Burke said: “I am proud of the strides we have made in the digital space recently, With the Snap investment, we have invested $1.5bn in promising digital businesses in the last 18 month. Importantly, we have become a better, more digitally-focused company as a result.
“Looking forward, we will continue to be aggressive as digital content increases. Investing in Snap is a key step in that direction, and I am pleased to share this exciting news with you.”
NBC previously worked with Snapchat on the Rio Olympics, in partnership with Buzzfeed – generating over 2bn views. Furthermore, it is producing series for Snapchat, including The Voice, SNL, and more.