BuzzFeed, which aggregates content being shared socially, has raised $15.5 million in a round led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA) with participation from Lerer Ventures, Hearst Interactive Media, Softbank and RRE.

Patrick Kerins, general partner at NEA will join BuzzFeed’s board, and Lerer Ventures manager Kenneth Lerer will become executive chairman. Additionallly, Criteo president Greg Coleman has joined the company as an active advisor.

Several BuzzFeed names have The Huffington Post on their resume: Lerer was manager and co-founder, Coleman was president, and BuzzFeed’s chief executive officer and co-founder Jonah Peretti also co-founded the Huffington Post.

“The baton has been passed from print to the traditional web and now from the traditional web to social,” Peretti said. “The entire industry is shifting, and we intend to be the leader in social publishing.”

BuzzFeed reports it gets over 25 million monthly unique visitors, which is triple that of a year ago, thanks to closer integration with social sites like Facebook, Twitter and StumbleUpon. Its revenue comes from what it calls social advertising – advertorial items that fit in with the site’s general mix of memes, celebrity quirks and oddball news – which has been used by brands that include GE, Disney and Microsoft.

The site extended itself in an unexpected direction when in January Ben Smith left Politico to serve as editor-in-chief. He quickly brought actual reporters on to his team to handle politics and other election-related coverage, which recently began appearing on BuzzFeed in a designated section of the landing page.

Related links:

AdWeek – BuzzFeed Lands $15.5 Million to Expand Content

New York Times’ Media Decoder – BuzzFeed Raises $15.5 Million in Financing

Vator News – BuzzFeed gets $15.5M funding, expands original content

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