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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Bustle Digital Group is formally rebranding to BDG, its founder and CEO Bryan Goldberg tells Axios. The new logo and name will roll out Tuesday.

Why it matters: The rebrand will help position the company as a holding group that houses many different digital brands ahead of its anticipated IPO.

  • "As much as Bustle was our first and still largest property, we want to recognize all of the other great brands that are already on platform and that will be joining platform," Goldberg says.
  • BDG is still planning to go public via a SPAC (special purpose acquisition company) later this year, Goldberg confirmed.

Details: Bustle was founded by Goldberg in 2013 as an online women's magazine. The company has since expanded into several different verticals across 9 sites, including tech and fashion.

  • BDG currently has around 500 employees, and expects to add another 100 this year.
  • Its editorial franchises include Bustle, Elite Daily, Input, Inverse, Mic, Nylon, Romper, W and The Zoe Report.
  • Later this year, Goldberg says the company is finally planning to relaunch the storied Gawker brand, which it purchased in 2018.
  • It's been reported that BDG is aiming for an IPO of at least $600 million, including debt. The company doesn't dispute that figure.

From a business perspective, "The company is incredibly healthy right now," Goldberg says, noting that BDG is profitable.

  • Goldberg says the business recovered quickly from the initial pandemic-driven advertising slowdowns, but still has yet to realize its full potential when it comes to live events. (The company acquired Flavorpill, an experiential brand focused on events, in 2018.)
  • "Experiential was a big part of our plan," he said. "We had a lot of plans in place before those were wiped out by the pandemic. I'm excited to bring those plans back to life."
  • This year, the company will bring in over $100 million of revenue.

Be smart: Unlike many digital media companies scrambling to diversify revenues away from being solely reliant on advertising, Goldberg says Bustle plans to double down on ads, and bring more ad-tech in-house.

  • "We view digital advertising as being a business that's worth $1 billion for us before the end of this decade," he says.
  • "Our goal is within the next two years to have as little third-party ad tech on our sites as possible. To be the best at what we do, we need to own as much of the ad stack as possible."
  • Goldberg notes that once the company is public, he can foresee BDG one day buying ad tech companies to support its business.

What's next: "We're hoping to add several more brands in the coming year," Goldberg says. In the future, he envisions having 20-30 brands on the platform.

  • Asked which types of websites he's eyeing, Goldberg says, "everything is on the table."
  • "Our core will always be lifestyle and female-facing media brands, but with that being said, we see great opportunities outside of that core."

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Sports

U.S. Olympic beach volleyball duo one step away from realizing gold medal dream

April Ross and Alix Klineman of Team USA celebrate after the play against Team Cuba during the Women's Round of 16 beach volleyball on day ten of the Tokyo Games. Photo: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Alix Klineman and April Ross are guaranteed to earn at least an Olympic silver medal after defeating Switzerland 2-0 in the Tokyo Games on Thursday morning local time.

Of note: It's the latest chapter in an enduring partnership, driven by past failures and bound by future aspirations.

4 hours ago - Health

World surpasses 200 million COVID cases

A woman in Gurugram, India get a COVID-19 vaccine dose. Photo: Vipin Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

The number of COVID-19 infections worldwide topped 200 million on Wednesday, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

Why it matters: The milestone highlights the effect of the highly contagious Delta variant. It took about a year for the world to reach 100 million cases, and only six months to double that, the New York Times reported.

Ohio special election win cements Jim Clyburn’s kingmaker status

Jim Clyburn. Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Rep. Jim Clyburn is cementing his Biden-era kingmaker status with Shontel Brown's win in Ohio,  showing progressives he has a finger on the pulse of Democratic Party politics in a way they must acknowledge.

Driving the news: "I was going to stay right here in South Carolina minding my business until I got called stupid,” Clyburn told Axios in an interview Wednesday.

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