Amidst our flurry of #BWB4 and #USMAP announcements recently, certainly not lost in this little corner of the Internet in which we dwell is the fact that early last week BWB3 partner Bleacher Report made waves by hiring a series of writers it is deeming their “lead writers.” Among those lead writers are a trio of conference mainstays – Dan Levy, Josh Zerkle and Bethlehem Shoals. In doing so, B/R picked up one of the best basketball, football and sports media writers online.

A subsequent announcement by the company was equally impressive as TechCrunch reported a “cash infusion: A $22 million growth round from Oak Investment Partners, with participation from existing investors Crosslink Capital and Hillsven Capital.”

Bleacher Report wasn’t planning on raising more money for another six months, but Grey says the company was moving quicker than expected on key traffic and business milestones. Year-over-year page views are up 150%, time on site is up 50% and unique visits are up 75%. He wouldn’t give much detail on revenues, but says in the spring they were already way ahead of plan. Given how robustly the money and valuations are flowing in the Valley, there seemed little reason to wait. “We started to believe we could really build this into a billion dollar company, and we wanted to get aggressive,” [CEO Brian] Grey says.

While Grey appears to be the public shot in the arm the company needed, I’ve advocated around the time of BWB3 back in 2010 that the founders seemed to be poised to turn a page on their own. Many on the web, including some of the new hires, were openly critical of the B/R model. Founder David Nemetz, who was a BWB3 speaker and a guest on our podcast, was adamant about moving the company forward by creating a system for enhancing and showcasing the quality of writing that may have sometimes been overlooked on the massive network. It appears he and the team have succeeded in doing so, and investors and critics alike have taken notice.