Cox Enterprises buys Axios

Axios this morning announced an agreement to be acquired by Cox Enterprises for $525 million, six years and one month after the “next great media company” was founded.

Why it matters: This is one of the largest sales ever of a VC-backed media company, and means I don’t have to feel quite so bad about that overpriced lobster dinner I bought on Saturday night in Martha’s Vineyard.

Details: The deal, signed yesterday, includes $25 million of new investment for Axios’ media arm.

Axios’ software arm, known as Axios HQ, will spin out into a standalone company led by Axios co-founder and president Roy Schwartz.

Axios HQ plans to raise outside funding early next year. It currently has over 300 clients and a $6 million ARR.

The big picture: Trying to leave personal bias aside, this is a huge win in a section of the startup economy that’s so often stained with VC tears. Not only in terms of pure return — premium on our last venture round and on reported valuation during deal talks last summer — but in light of the overall economic and ad market downturns.

Current Axios management will maintain control of the company’s editorial content and dayto-day operations.

Why it’s the BFD: Our north star will continue to be “audience first,” using our Smart Brevity format to make you smarter faster.

The bottom line: If you liked Axios yesterday, you’ll still like it tomorrow. If you hated Axios yesterday, why did you open this newsletter?

Today’s news is a testament to the hard work of my colleagues, past and present.

But it’s also a reflection of you, dear readers.

Thousands of you signed up for Axios Pro Rata even before we’d decided to call the company “Axios” (via a Google Doc circulated via Twitter), and now these morning missives reach far more people than I could have ever imagined.

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