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Axios (stylized as AXIOS) is an American news and information website founded in 2016 by former Politico staffers Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen, and Roy Schwartz. It officially launched in 2017. The site's name is based on the Greek: ἄξιος (áxios), meaning "worthy".[2]

Axios logo
Type of site
News and opinion
Available inEnglish
OwnerAxios Media Inc.
Key people
Alexa rankIncrease 4,551 (Global April 2019)[1]
1,014 (US April 2019)[1]
Current statusActive




Axios's founder VandeHei said he aimed for the company to be a "mix between The Economist and Twitter."[3] The company initially targeted coverage of a mix of news about business, politics, technology, healthcare, and media. Founder VandeHei said Axios would focus on the "collision between tech and areas such as bureaucracy, health care, energy, and the transportation infrastructure".[2] At launch, Nicholas Johnston, a former managing editor at Bloomberg LP was named editor-in-chief.[4]

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; Emerson Collective, the investment vehicle of Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Steve Jobs; Greycroft Partners; and David and Katherine Bradley, owners of Atlantic Media.[2] The company had raised $30 million as of November 2017.[5][6] It planned to focus on "business, technology, politics, and media trends."[2] Axios generates revenue through short-form native advertising and sponsored newsletters.[7] The company earned more than $10 million in revenue in its first seven months.[5]


The content is designed to live on digital platforms, such as Facebook and Snapchat, as well as its own website.[2] Reporters have made appearances on television news on NBC News and MSNBC through a deal with NBC.[4] Its NBC Universal partnership has featured Axios co-founder Mike Allen on its show Morning Joe.[8][9] Content is distributed via newsletters covering politics, technology, healthcare, and other subjects. Among the newsletters is a daily report by Mike Allen, who formerly wrote the Playbook newsletter for Politico.[2] Typical articles are shorter than 300 words.[10]


In January 2017, the company 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.[11] In March 2017, the company said it had 60 employees with 40 working in editorial.[12] Axios had six 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%. That same month, Axios 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.[5]


In March and April 2019, HuffPost reported that Axios had paid a firm to burnish its reputation by lobbying for changes to the Wikipedia articles on Axios and Jonathan Swan, and the story was later picked up by Wired.[13][14] Ashley Feinberg of HuffPost reported that from February 2018, Axios had hired a Wikipedia editor to "beef up its Wikipedia page (mostly with benign—if largely flattering—stats about Axios' accomplishments)."[13][14] Noam Cohen of Wired suggested the practice was indicative of a wider problem, saying, "Attempts to influence the site are... sadly inevitable; there are few areas immune to power of wealth and status."[14]


  1. ^ a b " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Ellison, Sarah (November 30, 2016). "Exclusive: Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei Reveal Their Plan for Media Domination". Vanity Fair. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
  3. ^ Shephard, Alex (May 2, 2017). "Axios and Donald Trump Are Made For Each Other". The New Republic. ISSN 0028-6583. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Alpert, Lukas I. (September 6, 2016). "Politico Co-Founder Jim VandeHei to Launch News Venture for Professionals". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c Mullin, Benjamin (November 17, 2017). "Axios Raises $20 Million to Fund Newsroom Expansion". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
  6. ^ Shephard, Alex (May 2, 2017). "Axios and Donald Trump Are Made For Each Other". New Republic. Retrieved May 14, 2017.
  7. ^ Sutton, Kelsey (November 20, 2018). "Why Axios Is Betting Big on Native Content, Sponsored Events and Branded Newsletters". AdWeek. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  8. ^ Wemple, Erik (January 24, 2017). "Opinion | NBC boosts Axios out of the gate". Washington Post. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  9. ^ "Mike Allen: Axios Is For What You Would Talk About With Your "Smart Friend"". Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  10. ^ Dillet, Romain. "Media startup Axios raises another $20 million". TechCrunch. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
  11. ^ Fox, Emily Jane. "Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen Bring on Washington Insiders to Help Run Axios". The Hive. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
  12. ^ Fox, Emily Jane. "Exclusive: Axios Has Another Trick Up Its Sleeve". The Hive. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
  13. ^ a b Feinberg, Ashley (March 14, 2019). "Facebook, Axios And NBC Paid This Guy To Whitewash Wikipedia Pages". HuffPost.
  14. ^ a b c Cohen, Noam (April 7, 2019). "Want to Know How to Build a Better Democracy? Ask Wikipedia". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved May 16, 2019.

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