Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

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

Recount Media, the two-year-old startup founded by veteran journalists John Battelle and John Heilemann, has raised $18 million in a series B funding round led by Foundry Group, Battelle tells Axios.

By the numbers: The new investment brings its total funding to $31 million. The company currently has a little more than 40 employees.

  • The new round also features participation from Union Square Ventures, Alumni Ventures, Burda Principal Investments, True Ventures, Correlation Ventures, and several individual investors.

Details: The money will help the company's flagship brand, The Recount, expand its product suite and widen its editorial coverage to more topics outside of politics.

  • It plans to expand into deeper coverage of "the strong corridors of power," per Battelle, which include tech, finance, culture and business.
  • The approach to covering these new topics will be similar to its current approach to covering politics. It will focus on creating professionally-produced videos that help explain the news of the day in easy-to-consume bites.

The new investment will also help Battelle, Heilemann and team build new direct-to-consumer products, like newsletters and events, as well as expand its video and podcast deals.

  • "By the years' end, I believe we'll be on at least a half dozen well-known streaming services," Battelle says. Moving forward, the company plans to produce more longer-form video that it can license to streamers.
  • The Recount's videos are meant to feel like analytical explainers — heavy with charts and graphics — as opposed to commentary from lots of talking heads. Its "Wire" video product, a string of short clips featuring news of the day, is "the purest expression of the core things we do really well," says Battelle.
  • The company launched a podcast slate with iHeartMedia last year. It hopes to expand that slate by adding new podcasts that focus on different topics. Most recently, it launched the "News Items Podcast" with John Ellis about finance, foreign affairs, science and technology.
  • It plans to hire a significant number of new product and engineering roles to help the company build more direct-to-consumer products, like newsletters, and grow its owned and operated channels, like its website and app.

Be smart: The Recount makes money from licensing its content, as well as ad revenue splits with some distribution partners and sponsorships.

  • To-date, it's barely invested in any marketing, which has been by design. ""We grew slowly on purpose during the pandemic," Battelle said. "We didn't over invest. We focused on making what we were good at and proving we can win in our chosen lanes." To-date, it's gained popularity primarily via videos on Twitter.
  • With the new round, that will change. The Recount will begin to meaningfully invest in paid marketing for the first time. "We want to be more focused on figuring out ways to let people know we exist," Battelle said.

The big picture: The Recount was able to avoid a lot of the drama around partisanship coming out of the 2020 election, in part because its content is focused on facts and analysis over opinion.

  • Still, Battelle concedes, "the divisiveness of politics is the harder sell." He notes that "broadening out from politics will broaden advertiser appeal."

Flashback, March 2020: The Recount raises $13 million in Series A round

Go deeper

Aug 12, 2021 - Economy & Business

NYT doubles down on subscription newsletters

Photo by Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

The New York Times is rolling out a slew of new, subscriber-only newsletters from news and opinion writers.

Why it matters: "It's very much in line with our long-term strategy of creating journalism worth paying for," said Alex Hardiman, head of product at the Times.

39 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Republicans sink short-term government funding, debt limit bill

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senate Republicans on Monday voted down the House-passed bill to fund the government through Dec. 3 and raise the debt limit.

Why it matters: Congress is just 72 hours away from a potential shutdown, so now comes Democrats' Plan B. Democratic leadership is expected strip the short-term funding bill of language about raising the debt limit — the part that Republicans' reject — in order to pass a bill before federal agencies close down on Friday.

Mike Allen, author of AM
3 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Laurene Powell Jobs' $3.5 billion climate campaign

Laurene Powell Jobs, president of Emerson Collective, is investing $3.5 billion in her new climate-action group, the Waverley Street Foundation — all to be spent in 10 years, as a way to show urgency on the issue.

  • Then the group will sunset.

The big picture: The foundation "will focus on initiatives and ideas that will aid underserved communities who are most impacted by climate change," an official tells Axios.