9gag is pretty popular in Israel. My coworkers (20yo) still read it, but it was all the rage a few months ago, and in a family dinner my 13yo cousin asked me if I know the site. All this indicates the eternal cycle: 'knew them before it was cool' -> mainstream -> 'omg are you still into that?'
Dubstep (recent example) stopped being cool because it went mainstream. Memes will not stop being cool - image macros are the laziest way to get information - but 9gag (unless they do something crazy) will become just a site. Remember the esoteric tumblrs?
 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mghhLqu31cQ
This company will never be nearly as big as Reddit but it seems to me that they're going to become more of a media company than a democratised news platform.
We'll start to see 9GAG Magazine, the book and TV shows. Like SocialCam, if Facebook cuts off timeline access I imagine they'll see a huge drop in engagement.
Although anyone can submit content it's very much editorialised and I think that will become more about submitting content for the editors.
A huge problem they're going to face as they branch out is copyright. They're trying to make a more legitimate FunnyJunk and this requires them to start looking at revshare and how they deal with copyright as they're promoting copyright content rather than it just being user added.
Content is created in the chaos that is discussion boards (4chan, SA before that). Then it is peer reviewed on aggregators (Reddit, Digg before that), and finally it is distributed to the masses in an easy to read format (9gag, tumblr, FB, etc.)
The problem is the lower the food chain you go the greater the resentment you see people have. People on reddit hate 9gag, people on reddit.com/new hate redditors that only view the front page, people on 4chan hate redditors for copying (or stealing) their memes. And everyone hates that the original message/humor gets lost or diluted each time to goes up a level.
Now you may not think that's a problem, but people on 4chan sure as hell don't want to see 9gag succeed, and the people who create the most content also create the most mischief.
They also have a pretty neat mission that extends beyond a r/funny wrapper -- though with the myriad of clones and previously created similar sites there is some credit due to them for their rapid expansion.
I hope the raise will give them the resources to expand further as I have no doubt they are already doing quite well.
As for why YC -- probably to connect more fully in the Valley since they are (or intend to be) based in Hong Kong.
Pretty connected names in the investor list over at angel.co/9gag // Ben Ling, Chris Sacca, Kevin Rose etc..
Oh, and while I agree to some extent that sites like these marginally improve the internet, humour is a great remedy to many of our ails.
Serious question - for a site that relies on user-generated content, how does this money help create a better user experience or bring a more intellectual community? Reddit's main feed is slowly toppling over as the "masses" overpopulate the number of people that provide true value with the saving grace being the subreddits. I'd also venture to say that Reddit's only-recent transformation to having proper staff and a CEO (that were huge contributors to the community before their hiring) is something a lot of people like about it too.
I guess I'm confused why a site as content-reliant as 9gag needs funding to beat out (given that's the intent) what is fundamentally an issue with their userbase, who have already been the laughing stock of the internet for quite some time now.
ummmm... how are you doing?
See facebook's steadily falling income as an example of this happening: sure they have a stupid number of pageviews, but people are learning the real value of a pageview today.
Children don't need a credit card to be a valuable audience to direct advertising at.
This seems like a large, risky bet to make on a humor site with fast growth but not much track record. I don't know a lot about 9GAG, but it seems like a case where since Funnyordie and Reddit were successful, any site with growth deserves investment.
It doesn't take a kick-ass team to put up a link farm and spam it out. It takes a kick-ass team to profit from it and not tank the reputation. Digg failed. Reddit is struggling. I'm not sure 9gag will do any better.
disclaimer: I obviously dont work for 9gag, but I know the founders, since they are from the same yc batch.
haters gona hate, who cares?
The site doesn't seem like anything more than a wordpress template. What value do they add to the reddit content that people are posting on there?