Description

Axios is an American news website based in Arlington County, Virginia. It was founded in 2016 and launched the following year by former Politico journalists Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen and Roy Schwartz. The site's name is based on the Greek: ἄξιος (áxios), meaning "worthy".

Axios's articles are typically brief and matter-of-fact; most are shorter than 300 words and use bullet points so they are easier to scan. In addition to news articles, Axios produces daily and weekly industry-specific newsletters (including Allen's Axios AM, a successor to his popular Playbook newsletter for Politico), two daily podcasts and a documentary news series on HBO.

History

VandeHei said he wanted Axios to be a "mix between The Economist and Twitter". The company initially covered a mix of business, politics, technology, health care, and media. VandeHei said Axios would focus on the "collision between tech and areas such as bureaucracy, healthcare, energy, and the transportation infrastructure". At launch, Nicholas Johnston, a former managing editor at Bloomberg L.P., was named editor-in-chief.

In the summer of 2016, Axios secured $10 million in a round of financing led by Lerer Hippeau Ventures. Backers include media-partner NBC News, Laurene Powell Jobs' Emerson Collective, Greycroft Partners, and David and Katherine Bradley, owners of Atlantic Media. The company had raised $30 million as of November 2017. It planned to focus on "business, technology, politics, and media trends". Axios generates revenue through short-form native advertising and sponsored newsletters. It earned more than $10 million in revenue in its first seven months. Its advertisers include Exxon Mobil and Koch Industries.

In January 2017, Axios hired as an executive vice president Evan Ryan, the assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs and a former staffer for Vice President Joe Biden. As of March 2017, the company said it had 60 employees with 40 working in editorial. Axios had 6 million visitors in September 2017, according to comScore. As of November 2017, Axios said it had 200,000 subscribers to 11 newsletters, with an average open rate of 52%. The same month, it said it would use a new $20 million investment to expand data analysis, product development, fund audience growth, and increase staff to 150, up from 89.

In March and April 2019, HuffPost and Wired reported that Axios had paid a firm to improve its reputation by lobbying for changes to the Wikipedia articles on Axios and Jonathan Swan.

In July 2020, Axios received $4.8 million in federal loans from the Paycheck Protection Program for salary replacement during the COVID-19 pandemic. It later returned the money, with VandeHei explaining that the loans had become "politically polarizing". In September 2020, The Wall Street Journal reported that Axios was on track to be profitable in 2020 "despite the economic turmoil stemming from the coronavirus that led to broad layoffs and pay cuts at many media outlets."

In May 2021, The Wall Street Journal reported that merger discussions between Axios and The Athletic had ended, with The Athletic opting to pursue a deal with The New York Times.

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