Fresh off its whopping $30 million venture capital round, Cheezburger Network is adding more special sauce to its growing empire of comedy sites. The Seattle company has gobbled up Know Your Meme, an online encyclopedia of sorts that tracks the origins of humorous Internet cultural trends.
“Most of our traffic is for entertainment purposes,” Cheezburger founder Ben Huh tells GeekWire. “But we felt that when you are introducing Internet culture to the masses, knowing how things came about and the origin and the context really makes a lot of difference — the more people understand how Internet culture works, I think the more they will enjoy it.”
Tubefilter News reported today that Cheezburger purchased the Web site for a low “seven-figure” sum. Huh declined to comment on the purchase price, but noted that Cheezburger acquired the New York-based site last Monday.
Four employees from Know Your Meme are joining Cheezburger. Those staffers are staying in New York where Cheezburger plans to grow a new office.
Marc Hustvedt at Tubefilter says Know Your Meme — a spin off of a Web series from Rocketboom — attracts about two million monthly visitors. (Note: Founder Andrew Baron puts the number at three million, and roughly 20 million page views per month).
Cheezburger has built its comedy empire through acquisitions in the past. It purchased its namesake Web site, I Can Has Cheezburger, in 2007, and FailBlog in 2008. Just last year, it acquired the Sketchy Santas Web site.
And now with $30 million in backing from Madrona Venture Group, Foundry Group and others, the company is looking at other opportunities to grow the business in new directions.
Huh tells GeekWire that they don’t have any other acquisitions in the cards right now. Rocketboom, the parent company of Know Your Meme, was not included in the deal, he said.
Know Your Meme currently features all sorts of wacky videos and photos, tracking what happens to Internet memes over time through diligent research of their origins. It also graphs the traffic of the oddball trends, showing just when the videos or photos were at their cultural apex.
The site currently features a video of a man by the name of “Cheeseburger Josh” going nuts in a fast food restaurant in Texas, something that gained momentum after a user posted the video in March 2010. Know Your Meme reposted the hilarious video again today, perhaps a tribute to its new corporate parent.
Cheeseburger Josh meet Cheezburger Network.