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Vinit Bharara. Photo: Some Spider Studios

Some Spider Studios, one of the largest digital media publishers for parents, will bring in $35 million in revenue this year, including $5 million in profit, a source familiar with its finances tells Axios.

Why it matters: Digiday had previously reported that the company, which is home to big internet parenting brands like Scary Mommy, The Dad and Fatherly, was expecting to hit $50 million in revenue this year prior to the pandemic. That's now become its goal for 2021, along with $10 million in profit.

The 120-person company is run by Vinit Bharara, who launched Some Spider Studios in 2014 with $5 million of his own capital after selling diapers.com, the site he co-founded, to Amazon for more than $500 million in 2010.

  • Most of the company's money comes from advertising, but the company does have growing events business linked to Scary Mommy and a budding commerce business.
  • Some Spider Studio brands collectively have about 30 million followers across social media. Scary Mommy is by far the biggest, especially on Snapchat.

The big picture: Bharara is the younger brother of the former United States attorney in Manhattan Preet Bharara, who joined the company in 2017 after he was fired by President Trump.

  • Preet Bharara runs a separate editorial brand called Cafe that's focused on subscription news and politics podcasts.
  • Cafe is separate from the parenting brands under the Some Spider Studios umbrella, and its revenue isn't included in Some Spider Studios' expected numbers this year, although Cafe is still technically owned by Vinit Bharara and does share limited back end functionality with Some Spider Studios.

Vinit Bharara built the portfolio through a series of acquisitions, starting with the Scary Mommy property in 2015.

  • His fellow diapers.com co-founder Marc Lore — now president and CEO of Walmart eCommerce — put in $5 million in 2016. The company launched "The Dad" a year later in 2017 and raised another $10 million.
  • It acquired Fatherly in March of this year, and spun out Preet Bharara's Cafe media business in conjunction with that deal.

What's next: Sources say that next year, the company is hoping to make more acquisitions and possibly build a commerce platform for families.

Go deeper

Dec 15, 2020 - Economy & Business

Sports podcast company Blue Wire raises $5 million Series A

Photo of Blue Wire CEO Kevin Jones, Photo credit: Olivia May

Blue Wire, a sports podcast company, has raised $5 million in its series A round, founder Kevin Jones tell Axios.

Why it matters: The company, which focuses on long-form sports narrative podcasts and conversational podcasts, now hosts more than 140 podcasts with over 20 million downloads for the year. It has $1.5 million in 2020 revenue via sponsorship partnerships via brands like Chevy and Visa.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
35 mins ago - Economy & Business

Why it's so hard to tax wealth

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The wealth tax that wasn't a wealth tax isn't even a tax, now. The Democrats had a meticulously constructed 107-page proposal to pay for a large chunk of their spending plans with a tax on billionaires, but it died ignobly on Wednesday, the same day it was unveiled.

Why it matters: The dream of a wealth tax will never die as it so neatly generates revenue by reducing inequality. But there are three main reasons why that dream is likely to remain just a dream for the foreseeable future.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Health

Public health messaging lessons for the next pandemic

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

"Be first, be right, be credible" is the mantra of public health experts in a crisis. It's difficult to argue that the health community has regularly managed to be any of those three during COVID-19.

Why it matters: A pandemic isn't just a medical emergency — it's also a communications emergency. The U.S. public health establishment, hamstrung by bad data and political interference, has struggled with the latter.