Axios is an American news website based in Arlington County, Virginia. It was founded in 2016 and launched the following year by former Politico team members Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen and Roy Schwartz. The site's name is based on the Greek: ἄξιος (áxios), meaning "worthy".
Axios' 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.
VandeHei said he wanted Axios to be a "mix between The Economist and Twitter." The company initially targeted covered a mix of news about business, politics, technology, healthcare, and media. VandeHei said Axios would focus on the "collision between tech and areas such as bureaucracy, health care, 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.[undue weight? ]
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. In March 2017, the company said it had 60 employees with 40 working in editorial. 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%. 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 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."
Axios's content is designed for digital platforms, such as Facebook and Snapchat, as well as its own website. Reporters have made appearances on television news on NBC News and MSNBC through a deal with NBC. Its NBC Universal partnership has featured co-founder Mike Allen on its show Morning Joe. Content is distributed via newsletters covering politics, technology, healthcare, and other subjects. Among the newsletters is a daily report by Allen, who formerly wrote Politico's Playbook newsletter. Typical articles are shorter than 300 words.
In 2018 the literary magazine n+1's editors identified Axios as an example of a new style of writing that "is simultaneously careful and strident, low-key and declarative" in order to cater to impatient readers. They wrote, "Axios, whose name is a cross between a defense contractor and an aggressive men's deodorant, has dispensed with everything but theses and bullet points."
A documentary series based on the website's reporting, also titled Axios (sometimes disambiguated as Axios on HBO), began airing on HBO in the United States and internationally on November 4, 2018. The program, which primarily features interviews with political and business figures in the news, is a co-production of Axios Media, HBO Documentary Films, and DCTV. Initially airing on Sunday evenings in blocks of four consecutive weeks once or twice a year, the program switched to year-round biweekly production, airing on Monday nights, starting in April 2020.