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HubSpot, a publicly-traded sales and marketing software company, is acquiring The Hustle, an email newsletter and content company targeted at entrepreneurs and small business owners, sources tell Axios. The deal is expected to close next week.

Why it matters: Hubspot has long invested in using content to help educate its existing and potential customers about business trends, primarily through its web blog. The deal will help it double down on that effort. The Hustle's daily business newsletter has more than 1.5 million subscribers.

  • The deal could also help HubSpot generate leads to acquire more customers without having to pay for lots of ads on Google and Facebook.

Details: The deal is valued at roughly $27 million, a source familiar with the terms tells Axios.

  • The Hustle makes most of its money from advertising and a small portion from subscriptions to its premium research arm called Trends. Its events business was sizable, but has been impacted by the pandemic.
  • The company has raised a little over $1 million in funding from seed rounds. Sources say the company is profitable.
  • All of the company's roughly 30 full-time employees are expect to remain.

When contacted for comment, HubSpot noted that it already has a large community of people who go to HubSpot's blog to get information around business trends and ways to grow and scale companies.

The big picture: Niche media is becoming a powerful customer acquisition tool and retention tool.

  • For example, Penn National, a casino operator, invested $163 million in Barstool Sports for a 36% equity stake. Its ownership presumably will help it lure sports bettors.

What's next: Paperwork has been delivered to shareholders for their approval, with closing expected next week.

Go deeper

Institutionalizing Trumpism

Protesters supporting Donald Trump march down Fifth Avenue in March. Photo: John Minchillo/AP

Republican officials are rendering an unequivocal verdict: They want to cement former President Trump's politics and policies into the foundation of the GOP for many years to come.

Why it matters: The debate over Trump's post-election hold on the GOP is over — it has gotten stronger since the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol.

Ina Fried, author of Login
2 hours ago - Technology

Epic's long game against Apple

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Epic's Apple lawsuit is costing the company dearly, but the game developer has its eye on a valuable long-term goal: prying tomorrow's virtual worlds loose from the grip of app store proprietors like Apple.

Between the lines: Epic isn't spending a fortune in legal fees and foregoing a ton of revenue just to shave some costs off in-app purchases on today's phones. Rather, it's planning for a future of creating virtual universes via augmented and virtual reality — without having to send a big chunk of their economies to Apple or Google.

Updated 2 hours ago - Health

The race to avoid a possible "monster" COVID variant

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

Slow global COVID-19 vaccination rates are raising concerns that worse variants of the coronavirus could be percolating, ready to rip into the world before herd immunity can diminish their impact.

Why it matters: The U.S. aims to at least partially vaccinate 70% of adults by July 4, a move expected to accelerate the current drop of new infections here. But variants are the wild card, and in a global pandemic where only about 8% of all people have received one dose, the virus will continue mutating unabated.