Silicon Valley Invests Big in 24-Year-Old Tumblr Founder David Karp


Business Insider says Tumblr, David Karp’s micro-blogging platform, which has recently found a fan in print media, got a “very big and competitive” investment from Sequoia Capital, the same Silicon Valley venture capital firm that’s backed Apple, YouTube, and Google. Sequoia’s Roelof Botha, who was head of finance at PayPal with Elon Musk, will join Tumblr’s board. Last month, Karp and Tumblr president John Maloney, who previously worked as Karp’s boss at Urban Baby, flew out to the Valley looking for cash. Tumblr’s earlier investors, Fred Wilson’s Union Square Ventures and Spark Capital, which has a strong presence in New York, were both local. Although it once seemed like Tumblr might not get past its image as a niche platform known for launching blogs-to-books (see: Look at This Fucking Hipster and This Is Why You’re Fat) and supporting the life-casting habits of one Julia Allison. The addictively easy to post and share interface has built up the networks’ traffic to 46 million people per month. The fact that it’s looking out West for investment could mean the site, which Business Insider says still has “little to no revenue,” needs the Valley’s expertise in scaling up or a bigger influx of cash than it could find here to fight off newcomers like Posterous and Instagram.

Tumblr Lands “Very Big and Competitive” Round From Sequoia [Business Insider]