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Imgur, Reddit's top image sharing site collects $40M from Andreessen Horowitz

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Imgur, the online image sharing site created for Reddit forum users plans to accelerate its fast growing pace. The startup company, announced Thursday (April 3) that it raised $40 million in funding from venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.

As the Wall Street Journal reports, Imgur was founded in 2009 by Ohio University student Alan Schaaf. The motive for creating the image hosting service was to provide “an image hosting service that doesn't suck” said Schaaf. What started as a gift to the Reddit online discussion forum community became a popular tool across the Web.

Funny pictures, memes, gifs, pet photos, celebrity and nsfw images uploaded to Imgur and shared by Reddit users often end up getting circulated other social media sites. Imgur is pretty much the place where viral images are born before they spread to sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Cut to 2014 and Imgur is a hot commodity with over 130 million unique visitors viewing up to 40 billion images per month.

"We've been watching Imgur for years, and the way Alan and his team have committed to building for the community is truly impressive,” general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, Lars Dalgaard said in a statement.

Back in 2011, Imgur won an award for Best Bootstrapped Startup at TechCrunch’s Crunchies Awards. It nabbed another Best Bootstrapped Startup Crunchies Award at the 7th annual event held last month. Donations and ad revenue helped Imgur with web hosting costs in its early stages, including contributions from Reddit.

"As a company that bootstrapped our way to profitability and had a blast doing it, we really weren't out looking for money at all. That said, as soon as we started talking with Marc (Andreessen) and Lars, we knew this was a great fit. Lars completely gets what we're trying to accomplish, and has pledged to help us conquer the Internet. The only sad part is that we won't be eligible for any more Best Bootstrapped Startup Crunchies," Imgur founder and CEO, Alan Schaaf said Thursday.