News website Axios is being sold to Cox Enterprises for $525 million as they work together to continue their joint mission of reinvigorating local newspapers.
Axios is a Virginia-based startup that serves up stories using brevity, and Cox is a family-owned company that owns companies like Kelley Blue Book and Autotrader. Additionally, Cox owns some broadband businesses, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and the Dayton Daily News. Previously, rumors swirled about Axel Springer buying Axios or merging with The Athletic. But news of this collaboration doesn't come as a surprise to many investors, as Cox was a key investor in several of Axios' fundraising rounds. It is now estimated that Axios will reach $100 million in revenue by the end of the year, far surpassing prior speculation, and the company reports that its newsletter is responsible for more than 50% of all revenue. The financial terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed.
Axios' three co-founders, Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen, and Roy Schwartz, worked for Politico before going on to found their own news website. They will continue to serve on the company's board with the addition of Cox's Chief Executive Officer and Chair, Alex Taylor. The four will work together managing Axios' daily operations, aspiring to create a landscape where local news has a voice. The internet has eliminated many local papers from the digital news world, the two companies said in a joint statement, and they aspire to help journalists report on their respective communities.
"Local watchdog journalism is so important to the health of any community," says Taylor in a release from Axios. "And no one is more focused on building that out nationally than Axios."
"Our shared ambitions should be clear: to spread clinical, nonpartisan, trusted journalism to as many cities and as many topics as fast as possible," added VandeHei in a statement from Cox.