Media startup Axios raises another $20 million

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There’s a glimpse of hope in new media as Axios just raised $20 million less than a year after its launch, the Wall Street Journal reported. The company already had a pretty big list of investors, and most of the startup’s existing investors are putting more money into Axios.

Existing investors Greycroft Partners and Lerer Hippeau Ventures are co-leading today’s founding round (Lerer Hippeau Ventures previously invested in both BuzzFeed and HuffPost). NBCUniversal, Emerson Collective and Greg Penner are investing once again. And WndrCo is putting some money in Axios for the first time.

Axios launched in January 2017. It was founded by three former Politico team members — Politico co-founder Jim VandeHei, Politico’s White House correspondent Mike Allen and Politico Chief Revenue Officer Roy Schwartz.

It isn’t yet another new media company churning out social videos and live streams. Axios has been focusing on brevity so that big executives can quickly learn everything they need to know about the news in just a few minutes.

Many articles feature bullet points so that they are easier to scan. A post is typically shorter than 300 words. Axios also sends daily and weekly newsletters. The company has been covering business, technology and politics.

Surprisingly, the WSJ says that it has generated more than $10 million in revenue during its first seven months. The company has been running native advertising in the middle of the feed.

There are already 89 people working for Axios, and the company plans to hire a lot more people. By the end of 2018, the startup wants to work with 150 people, launch new verticals and a paywall.

Yesterday, Ziff Davis acquired Mashable for $50 million. This is a disappointing ending as the company was valued $250 million in early 2016. BuzzFeed is also going to miss its revenue target, which could delay its initial public offering. And our own parent company Oath is laying off around 4 percent of staff globally. Starting a media company is hard. It requires a ton of cash, big teams and years of hard work.