Life and education
Peretti grew up in Oakland, California. His father is Italian-American and his mother is Jewish. His stepmother was African-American. He attended the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he graduated with a degree in environmental studies in 1996. He taught computer science classes at Isidore Newman School in New Orleans, Louisiana in the mid-1990s. He completed a postgrad at the MIT Media Lab. While there, he became famous when an email exchange with Nike over a request to print "sweatshop" on custom order shoes went viral. He is the brother of comedian and writer Chelsea Peretti and married to blogger Andrea Harner.
In 2005, Peretti hosted the Contagious Media Showdown at Eyebeam, where he worked as Director of the R&D Lab from 2001 - 2006. During the process Peretti developed the concept of the "Bored-at-Work Network", which he supposes to be larger than some major television network audiences.
Peretti founded the "Internet popularity contest" site BuzzFeed in November 2006. After he left The Huffington Post, Peretti began working at BuzzFeed full-time. While originally best known for its mix of internet memes and lists, the site gained new attention when it was the first to break the news that John McCain would endorse Mitt Romney in the 2012 Republican Primary. The site continued to grow afterward, raising over $35 million in funding from investors the next year. In August 2014, the site raised another $50 million from the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, more than doubling its previous rounds of funding. The site was reportedly valued at nearly $1 billion by Andreessen Horowitz.