Dec 1, 2022 - Economy

Scoop: The Recount plans to suspend operations

The Recount co-founders John Heilemann (left) and John Battelle. Photo: The Recount

The Recount, a video news startup founded in 2018, told employees it plans to suspend operations next Friday, sources told Axios.

Why it matters: The company, which raised over $34 million since 2020, struggled to find a profitable business model. Like most media companies, its prospects grew worse amid the economic downturn.

Details: Sources told Axios last month that the outlet, which was founded by veteran journalists John Battelle and John Heilemann, was trying to sell itself for a nominal sum in order to keep the brand alive.

  • The company's leaders are still in talks with buyers, and they may try to continue operations if they are able to make a deal before next Friday's deadline, sources told Axios.
  • The company did not comment.

Catch up quick: The company pivoted its focus a few times in its short history and burned through the cash it raised quickly.

  • A source told Axios last month that the Recount lost $10 million in 2021 on $1 million in revenue.
  • The Recount’s most valuable asset is likely its Twitter following (359,000).
  • A large portion of the Recount's staff was laid off last month, bringing its total employee count down to around a dozen. Those cuts came after a round of cuts in the spring that reduced its staff roughly in half from around 75.

The big picture: The Recount is the latest digital media upstart to shutter in the wake of economic uncertainty.

  • Protocol, the tech-focused publication from Politico, plans to shut down by the end of the year.

Go deeper: Media layoffs spike amid recession fears

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect that the Recount was founded in 2018. It did not launch its product until 2019.

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