Axios Pro Rata

A green watering can with a dollar sign painted on it.
August 08, 2022

Yes, I’m on vacation. No, I didn’t open the laptop to write about Carlyle’s CEO tumult or SoftBank’s losses or big acquisitions by Whirlpool and UPS. Instead...

Top of the Morning

Illustration of Benjamin Franklin resting his head on his hand and blowing a party horn
Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

Axios this morning announced an agreement to be acquired by Cox Enterprises for $525 million, six years and one month after the “next great media company” was founded.

Why it matters: This is one of the largest sales ever of a VC-backed media company, and means I don't have to feel quite so bad about that overpriced lobster dinner I bought on Saturday night in Martha's Vineyard.

Details: The deal, signed yesterday, includes $25 million of new investment for Axios' media arm.

  • Axios' software arm, known as Axios HQ, will spin out into a standalone company led by Axios co-founder and president Roy Schwartz.
  • Axios HQ plans to raise outside funding early next year. It currently has over 300 clients and a $6 million ARR.

The big picture: Trying to leave personal bias aside, this is a huge win in a section of the startup economy that's so often stained with VC tears. Not only in terms of pure return — premium on our last venture round and on reported valuation during deal talks last summer — but in light of the overall economic and ad market downturns.

The BFD

Illustration of a champagne bottle in a gold cooler with the Axios logo.
Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Current Axios management will maintain control of the company's editorial content and day-to-day operations.

Why it's the BFD: Our north star will continue to be "audience first," using our Smart Brevity format to make you smarter faster.

The bottom line: If you liked Axios yesterday, you'll still like it tomorrow. If you hated Axios yesterday, why did you open this newsletter?

Thank you

Illustration of a bouquet of tulips with the Axios A on the vase.
Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Today's news is a testament to the hard work of my colleagues, past and present.

  • But it's also a reflection of you, dear readers.
  • Thousands of you signed up for Axios Pro Rata even before we'd decided to call the company "Axios" (via a Google Doc circulated via Twitter), and now these morning missives reach far more people than I could have ever imagined.
  • If you have friends, family or fledgling media founders who haven't yet signed up, please ask them to do so.

The bottom line: Thank you so much for reading. And for providing feedback, both positive and negative. It's you who make this job so fun, and I can't wait to return in a couple of weeks to get back at it.