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A handful of venture capitalists have participated in the seed round for The Juggernaut, a premium subscription publication for South Asian stories and news, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: It's the latest in a series of investments from venture capitalists and Hollywood giants in South Asian storylines and talent.

Driving the news: Precursor Ventures, Kevin Lin (co-founder of Twitch), Bhaskar Ghosh (partner and CTO at 8VC), and Sheel Tyle (founder, Amplo), among others, will join Y Combinator in investing in the startup led by Snigdha Sur.

Details: The company started as a newsletter in October 2017 and launched a $4.99-per-month paid subscription service in February. Sur says 80% of users sign up for an annual plan.

  • Its free newsletter has open rates of about 30-60%, says Sur. (The average rate for publishing is usually around 20%.)
  • Sur says the conversion rate from the free newsletter to the paid subscription has so far been about 6%.

The trend: Media companies in the U.S. are looking to better cover the South Asian population. This year...

  • Mindy Kaling and Priyanka Chopra inked a deal with Universal for a wedding film.
  • Netflix green-lighted a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age comedy series with Kaling starring.
  • HBO is developing "Attachment," a comedy series that centers on a first-generation Indian-American tech CEO.
"The South Asia diaspora is so large. I can't believe this audience doesn't have publication or voice in way they want to to be spoken to covering stories matter to them."
Charles Hudson, managing partner, Precursor Ventures

Go deeper: Where America's diversity is increasing the fastest

Go deeper

Cold December as safety nets expire

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Safety nets are likely to be yanked from underneath millions of vulnerable Americans in December, as the coronavirus surges.

Why it matters: Those most at risk are depending on one or more relief programs that are set to expire, right as the economic recovery becomes more fragile than it's been in months.

15 hours ago - Health

Food banks feel the strain without holiday volunteers

People wait in line at Food Bank Community Kitchen on Nov. 25 in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Food Bank For New York City

America's food banks are sounding the alarm during this unprecedented holiday season.

The big picture: Soup kitchens and charities, usually brimming with holiday volunteers, are getting far less help.

17 hours ago - Health

AstraZeneca CEO: "We need to do an additional study" on COVID vaccine

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday the company is likely to start a new global trial to measure how effective its coronavirus vaccine is, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Following Phase 3 trials, Oxford and AstraZeneca said their vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses.