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The Juggernaut

The Juggernaut, a premium subscription publication for South Asian stories and news, has raised nearly $2 million as a part of its seed round, its founder Snigdha Sur tells Axios.

Why it matters: The upstart is putting its money where its mouth is. Over 50% of its investment by value was from general partners of color. Over 90% of The Juggernaut's writers are people of color and over 80% are women.

"It shows that diverse teams can attract diverse capital and vice versa, that we can be a large part of changing the disproportionately low numbers when it comes to women and minority women who get venture capital funding."
— Snigdha Sur, founder of The Juggernaut

Driving the news: The round was led by Precursor Ventures and was joined by participating investors including Unpopular Ventures, New Media Ventures, Old Town Media, and Backstage Capital.

  • Angel investors include The Athletic co-founder Adam Hansmann, Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin, Kabam co-founder Holly Liu, partner and CTO at 8VC Bhaskar Ghosh, early Dropbox executive Albert Ni, Lumosity CTO Saran Chari, Jamie Seltzer, Ramp co-founder Eric Glyman, and Nova Credit co-founder Nicky Goulimis.
  • The company ran its fundraising process through Zoom.

Details: The Juggernaut started as a newsletter in October 2017 and launched a $4.99-per-month paid subscription service in February of 2019.

  • Today, it offers four subscription options: a lifetime membership ($250), an annual membership ($47.88), a student membership ($29.99) or a monthly membership ($9.99).
  • Sur says that the company has grown its subscribers 20% to 30% month-over-month for seven months straight, speaking to the high demand for news and stories that cater to the massive South Asian diaspora in the U.S.

The big picture: The company is focused on building a news community for South Asian Americans.

  • It's interviewed high-brow figures in the South Asian American community like actress Padma Lakshmi, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, and writer Amitav Ghosh.
  • It's focused coverage on the South Asian American population during COVID-19.
  • "We're so inspired about what we're building at The Juggernaut because we're also building a community," says Sur. "Building a community-focused media company means building something where members are jazzed to meet each other — both online and offline."

What's next: The company is launching a partnership with FiveThirtyEight.com, a political blog operated within ABC News, on election coverage.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Nov 2, 2020 - Economy & Business

Asia's recovery is helping its stock markets outperform the U.S.

Expand chart
Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Asia's improved economic outlook is helping push stock markets in the region ahead of U.S. equity indexes.

Details: In fact, Asian equities are performing better even as markets sell off, which is normally highly negative for Chinese and other emerging Asian markets traditionally seen as more speculative and risky.

1 hour ago - World

Biden seeks to reboot U.S. sanctions policy

Sanctions increased under Obama and dramatically under Trump. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

The Biden administration is rethinking the U.S. approach to sanctions after four years of Donald Trump imposing and escalating them.

The big picture: Sanctions are among the most powerful tools the U.S. has to influence its adversaries’ behavior without using force. But they frequently fail to bring down regimes or moderate their behavior, and they can increase the suffering of civilians and resentment of the U.S.

1 hour ago - World

Merkel's farewell spoiled by Poland crisis at EU summit

One last awkward EU "family photo." Photo: John Thys/AFP via Getty Images

Angela Merkel took up her vaunted mantle as Europe's crisis manager for what could be the last time tonight, as she urged the EU to find compromise in its showdown with Poland.

Why it matters: The European Commission has threatened to withhold over $40 billion in pandemic recovery funds after Poland's constitutional tribunal — stacked with loyalists from the ruling right-wing populist party — rejected the principle that EU law has primacy over national law.

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