The Athletic just received a new influx of cash. The company’s has raised $40 million in series C funding. The company has now raised a total of $70 million since its launch in 2016. A source told Axios that the company’s current valuation is in the neighborhood of $200 million.
The financial success of a digital media brand built on consumer subscriptions in a time when venture capitalists are seeing poor return on their investment in ad-based digital media brands is noteworthy. The Athletic touts this strategy as a slower, but more realistic method of generating profit. “Our revenue comes in recurring payments. It’s a lot less explosive than ad companies — it’s harder to build — but the payoff is huge in revenue foundation,” co-founder Alex Mather said at the company’s launch.
The latest investment is coming largely from two venture capital firms. One is Founders Fund, based in San Francisco. Peter Thiel, a founding partner of Founders Fund, is best known for his vendetta against Gawker Media that led to him funding Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against the company and causing their bankruptcy. The firm has been quick to point out that he will have no involvement with The Athletic. The other firm leading the new round of funding for The Athletic is Bedrock Capitol.