NBCUniversal is investing $200m in Buzzfeed, valuing the firm at $1.5bn, the companies announced today (18 August).

Chief executive Jonah Peretti sent out an email to staff saying the deal offered Buzzfeed and its employees a wide range of opportunities.

"The investment from NBCU and our rapidly growing revenue assures our financial independence, allowing us to grow and invest without pressure to chase short-term revenue," he said.

"Our independence and a long-term focus align us with our readers and viewers and help us deliver the best possible service for our audience."

Buzzfeed will be added to the NBCUniversal stable, which also includes the Today Show and the Minions franchise. Peretti, who found the company in 2006, said that the deal will allow Buzzfeed to take its time to plan out an initial public offering.

NBCUniversal's CEO Steve Burke said in a release: "Buzzfeed has built an exceptional global company that harmonizes technology data and superior editorial abilities to creat and share content in innovative ways," adding that the company "reach[es] a massive, loyal audience and [has] proven to be among the most creative, popular and influential net media players.

As the media landscape has rapidly changed over the last two decades, talk of M&A deals where bigger corporations seek to invest in smaller and often more agile media companies have surfaced.

In July, it was reported that Comcast was in talks with Business Insider and Vice as well as Buzzfeed about investment opportunities, underlining the importance of new media players.

Buzzfeed also said it will launch a Japanese version, based in Tokyo, in a deal with Yahoo!.