Love It Or Hate It, Business Insider Raises $7 Million Round

Financial and media news online site network Business Insider has raised $7 million for what founder and editor Henry Blodget says will be a “ton more cool stuff over the next couple of years.”

The round was led by new investor, Institutional Venture Partners, along with continued support from existing backers RRE Ventures, Allen & Co., Marc Andreessen, Gordon Crovitz, Ken Lerer, among others.

The new capital comes a little more than a year after the site raised a $3 million fourth round. The year before that, the site raised $2.7 million, though at the time it was estimated to be in the $5 million range.

Blodget did not offer any hints as to what sorts of things would be coming, though it currently has 60 staffers — pretty large by the standards of online news publishing — and it’s likely that it may add to the roughly 15 channels currently organized under the Business Insider banner.

In March, the company said it had reached profitability — $2,127 at the end of 2010, to be exact. So far, the company hasn’t released any other details about its balance sheet, aside from the one accompanying today’s funding, when Blodget noted that Business Insider does have money in the bank.

So how’s it faring this year? Like most media entities in this up-and-down economy, Business Insider’s the bottom line probably varies month-to-month and quarter-to-quarter. For example, the company’s Ignition conference at the end of November will probably make that month and December a profitable month (ticket prices start at $1695 for the two-day event). Given the economic times, Business Insider can still expect to break even this year, but the need to drive more growth over the long term will require continued investment in the business.

All in all, while there’s no denying the site’s popularity with tech, media and financial professionals, there are many in its audience that loves to hate it and — and some who just plain hate it.

One detractor is Marco Arment, who is recognized as one of the primary developers of the Tumblr’s platform and the creator of Instapaper. In a post on his personal blog, Arment charges that Business Insider has “they’ve linked to nearly every significant article I’ve written” and in many cases, “rewritten my titles to be more inflammatory and attract more clicks, which irritates me more than how much their cluttered, ad-overloaded site “design” buries the link to my article.”

He adds that Business Insider eventually asked him if he would formally allow Business Insider to publish his posts, offering him the chance of greater promotion for his work, but no direct financial compensation. Needless to say, he declined the offer, saying that the traffic referrals were negligible.

In any case, it’s that kind of intensely visceral reaction that keeps readers interested in whatever it is Business Insider is doing.