Dan Primack

The latest on private equity, M&A, deals and movements — from Wall Street to Silicon Valley

Tumblr dives into a boatload of money

November 19, 2010: 9:58 AM ET

Tumblr, the lightweight blogging company, has raised between $25 million and $30 million in new VC funding, Fortune has learned. The valuation is in the ballpark of $135 million.

BusinessInsider first reported on the existence of a new round last week (sans financial details), and said that Sequoia Capital was the lead investor (Update: Seems Om beat them to the first part). I'm told it was a highly competitive auction, with at least ten firms involved.

New York-based Tumblr previously raised just over $10 million from Spark Capital and Union Square Ventures. I'd assume they both re-upped, although USV has a habit of holding back once later-stage valuations hit the stratosphere.

You might recall that Spark and Union Square also invested together in a little something called Twitter. I'm not saying that Tumblr is the next online revolution, but the two companies do have some qualitative similarities:

1. Like Twitter, Tumblr's main selling point is its ease of use. If it takes you more than five minutes to set up a Tumblr blog, then it probably also takes you more than five minutes before your dial-up Internet access kicks in.

2. Tumblr took some time to achieve mass adoption, but now its traffic looks like a rocket trail.

3. Tumblr has yet to find – or at least implement – a significant revenue strategy. But, like with Twitter, no one seems too worried about it. The users are engaged, which is (mostly) all that matters at this point. It will be interesting to see how the company looks to scale with its new windfall...

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About This Author
Dan Primack
Dan Primack
Senior Editor, Fortune

Dan Primack joined Fortune.com in September 2010 to cover deals and dealmakers, from Wall Street to Sand Hill Road. Previously, Dan was an editor-at-large with Thomson Reuters, where he launched both peHUB.com and the peHUB Wire email service. In a past journalistic life, Dan ran a community paper in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He currently lives just outside of Boston.

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