Snoop Dogg helps Reddit raise $50m so it can drop it like its hot

Reddit has raised funds from the rapper and Valley VCs, but plans to give away 10% of the equity to its users.

by Adam Gale
Last Updated: 01 Oct 2014

One, two, three and to the four, Snoop Doggy Dogg has invested in a venture capital funding round raising $50m (£31m) for content-sharing site, Reddit. The rapper joined forces with the Silicon Valley elite, including Paypal founder Peter Thiel and Y-Combinator President and original Reddit backer Sam Altman, to raise funds for the site, which allows users to post links and order them based on popularity.

Reddit hopes to use the money to expand its staff of 60, who oversee posts from the sites 115 million unique monthly users.

What makes the deal trippy is the decision by investors to give 10% of the equity raised back to its community of users, in recognition of their central role in the site’s success. Reddit boss Yishan Wong announced, in a comment on his own Reddit blog post announcing the investment, that the company is planning to create a virtual ‘cryptocurrency’, a la Bitcoin, backed by the shares it gives away.

‘Nothing like this has ever been done before,’ Wong wrote. ‘This plan is in its earliest stages and could totally fail.’

While that may not be the sort of thing most investors like to hear, it clearly hasn’t put off the Silicon Valley investors, or indeed Snoop Dogg. The G-funk rapper, who’s known as Snoop Lion to his reggae fans, Here_Comes_The_King to Reddit users and Calvin Broadus Jr to his mum, is an avid user. He regularly takes part in candid ‘Ask Me Anything’ Q&A sessions and moderates r/tree, Reddit’s marijuana community.

‘Whaddup Sam!’ The rapper wrote in response to Altman’s statement on the site about the equity give away. ‘They let the Dogg n the building [sic]. Now do I get an official title??’

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