Since its creation, photo sharing site Imgur has had strong ties with Reddit. Those ties are official now that Reddit has joined Imgur’s first round of funding, which is led by Andreessen Horowitz and totals a respectable $40 million. 

Imgur has long been held up as a model for bootstrapped success, but the startup has turned to VC help as it moves into the next stage of growth. The company said it plans to use the money for internal growth, product development and to grow its community.

When I spoke with Imgur founder Alan Schaaf back in January, he said that he’d been approached by numerous VCs, but had decided to hold off on taking funding until he felt it was necessary to achieve Imgur’s goal of becoming a household name.

In a statement on Thursday, Schaaf noted:

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 [Dalgaard], 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.

Dalgaard will join Imgur’s board of directors.

Imgur boasts 130 million monthly unique visitors. In January, the firm released an analytics service that sets it up to gain sway with advertisers.

Image credit: Valentin Agapov