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Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

IAC, the internet holding company chaired by media mogul Barry Diller, announced to shareholders on Tuesday that it plans to spin off video service Vimeo.

Why it matters: It's the second major company that IAC has spun off this year, having done so with dating company Match Group in July. The 15-year-old Vimeo started as a platform for indie filmmakers, and now mostly makes money selling enterprise video software to companies.

Details: The effort comes months after Vimeo raised $150 million from outside investors to boost the software licensing business that it launched in 2018. The enterprise software licensing business that has contributed to much of the company's growth was launched in 2019.

  • The round valued Vimeo at $2.75 billion — 10 times the company's revenue.
  • Vimeo now has over 3,500 enterprise customers, including Amazon, Starbucks. Deloitte, Zendesk, Rite Aid and Siemens, according to a statement about the spin-off.

The big picture: IAC's playbook is to grow companies within its holding group and spin them out for greater value when they mature. There have been reports that IAC also plans to spin out ANGI Homeservices, which houses Angie's List.

What they're saying: "The combination of Vimeo’s remarkable growth, solid leadership position, and enormous market opportunity have made clear its future," said Joey Levin, CEO of IAC. "It’s time for Vimeo to spread its wings and become a great independent public company."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Dec 23, 2020 - Economy & Business

Communication tech companies are booming

Data: Yahoo Finance; Chart: Axios Visuals

Software firms that help other companies communicate are booming this year thanks to pandemic-driven remote-work.

Why it matters: Even when a vaccine is rolled out and lockdown provisions are lifted, most companies will likely maintain at least some work-from-home flexibility, which will bode well for software firms like Zoom, DocuSign, Twilio, Microsoft, Slack and others.

U.S. ambassador to Russia will return home briefly: State Department

John Sullivan, U.S. Ambassador to Russia, during a briefing in Moscow in 2015. Photo: Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS via Getty Images

The State Department said Monday that the U.S. ambassador to Russia, John Sullivan, will now be returning to the United States this week before returning to Moscow "in the coming weeks."

Why this matters: The statement, from a State Department spokesperson, comes just hours after Axios reported that Sullivan had indicated he intended to stand his ground and stay in Russia after the Kremlin “advised” him to return home to talk with his team.

Scoop: Leaked Ukraine memo reveals scope of Russia's aggression

Russian President Vladimir Putin visits a military exposition in Sevastopol, Crimea, in Jan. 2020. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Russia has been holding last-minute military exercises near commercial shipping lanes in the Black Sea that threaten to strangle Ukraine's economy, according to an internal document from Ukraine's ministry of defense reviewed by Axios.

Why it matters: With the eyes of the world on the massive buildup of troops in eastern Ukraine, the leaked memo shows Russian forces escalating their presence on all sides of the Ukrainian border.