Behind The $500M NBCUniversal Investment In Snap

Snapchat IPO

The Snap IPO garnered its fair share of attention, and in terms of sizable investments, one standout has been from Comcast’s NBCUniversal unit, which put $500 million into the company upon its debut last week.

Recode reported that the deal represents only one of several sizable fund flows from the media conglomerate that have come to pass in the last few years, all geared toward the digital realm. (The company had in fact ponied up $200 million in Recode’s own parent company VoxMedia.) One other deal of size came with $400 million invested in BuzzFeed.

The site said the Snap shares were bought before the actual IPO at $17, and that would represent a relative bargain, given the fact that the stock popped 44 percent on its first day of trading to more than $24. A one-year lockup on the NBCUniversal investment is in place, and the investment seems to be strategic in nature, as the media giant is looking use Snap in part to help reach younger media consumers who are not partial to watching “traditional TV,” Recode reported.

And in a memo penned by NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke, the executive stated that in the past “we have partnered with Snap frequently. Most notably, we produced a pop-up Discover channel which featured Olympic content produced by BuzzFeed. Throughout the Rio Games, this content generated over two billion views. On the heels of that success, we are already planning an expanded partnership with Snapchat and BuzzFeed for the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea. Our entertainment programs have been among the first shows to launch a Snapchat series, including The Voice, SNL and E! News’ The Rundown. We expect to launch even more Snapchat shows with additional NBCU brands in the coming weeks .… I am proud of the strides we have made in the digital space recently. With the Snap investment, we have invested over $1.5 billion in promising digital businesses in the last 18 months. Importantly, we have become a better, more digitally focused company as a result.”


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