News startup Axios has raised a $20 million round of second-round funding from a range of investors, including WndrCo, the tech and media investment company formed by Jeffrey Katzenberg, Ann Daly and Sujay Jaswa.
Axios was founded last year by a trio of defectors from Politico: CEO Jim VandeHei, who was Politico’s co-founder of Politico; Mike Allen, formerly Politico’s chief White House correspondent; and Roy Schwartz, Politico’s chief revenue officer.
The funding brings Axios to a total raised of $30 million. The latest round was led by VC firms Greycroft Partners and Lerer Hippeau Ventures, with participation from WndrCo and prior investors including NBCUniversal, and Laurene Powell Jobs’s Emerson Collective.
Axios covers news in politics, technology, business, health care, science and energy, with a blog-like site design and an emphasis on data-driven stories. The startup styles itself as some kind of disruptor: “All of us left cool, safe jobs to start a new company with this shared belief: Media is broken — and too often a scam,” Axios says in its “manifesto.”
With the funding, Axios plans to build out its staff. The company currently has 89 employees and plans to increase its headcount to around 150 people by the end of 2018, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the Axios funding.
The vote of confidence in Axios’ business and strategy comes as other digital-media players are struggling. Mashable reportedly has agreed to sell itself to Ziff Davis for $50 million — a fraction of its previous valuation — and BuzzFeed will miss its 2017 revenue goal by up to 20%, the Journal reported Thursday.