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.

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