BuzzFeed Wants To Sell You Stuff

by MR Magazine Staff

The company has acquired Scroll, an e-commerce startup from Quirky founder Ben Kaufman. In October, BuzzFeed quietly acquired Scroll. The companies did not disclose the deal value. For the past three weeks, Kaufman has been leading a team of 10 called BuzzFeed Product Lab. Their mandate is to experiment independently with all forms of commerce until they find a formula that works. It’s early days. The company wasn’t planning to formally reveal the commerce initiative until next year. Peretti compared BuzzFeed’s acquisition of Scroll to its 2012 “acqui-hire” of Ze Frank’s tiny startup. Frank now leads BuzzFeed Motion Pictures, the video unit that the company has increasingly put at the center of its strategy. “When we started video, people were like, ‘Video won’t work on mobile, and it’s expensive to produce, and pre-roll advertising doesn’t cover the cost of production,’” Peretti says. Now, video is a huge business for BuzzFeed. Read more at Fortune.