Punchbowl News, a DC-based political media startup, is expanding its coverage to include financial services, according to an investor note obtained by Axios.
Why is this important: This is Punchbowl’s first major expansion since launching the business in January 2021. The new vertical paves the way for the company to dive even deeper into enterprise subscription sales and online opportunities. outside Washington.
- To date, most of Punchbowl’s coverage has focused on coverage of Congress and the Congress leadership.
- The company’s co-founders, Anna Palmer, Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan, worked together for years as star Capitol Hill reporters at Politico.
Details: The company hired Brendan Pedersen, a congressional reporter for American Banker, to cover all things financial services in Washington, according to the memo.
- Pedersen will be responsible for covering financial services from a policy, legislative and lobbying perspective. His coverage will include everything from crypto regulation to lobbying financial services companies and more.
- “The financial services sector is one of the most influential industries in the city. Its CEOs and executives are among the top donors to both Republican and Democratic campaigns,” Punchbowl executives wrote in the memo. “These titans have the ear of the rulers.”
The big picture: Punchbowl launched in 2021 with four employees, but it quickly made an impression on Washington’s news-hungry political junkies.
- The company grossed more than $10 million in its first year of business in 2021, with about 10% of that revenue coming from paid subscriptions, Axios reported.
- Today, the company has a total of 14 employees, including Pedersen. He hired a full-time sales executive from Bloomberg in August to handle Punchbowl’s corporate subscription sales.
- The company derives most of its revenue from selling newsletter sponsorships to advertisers, but it recently redesigned its website to be able to sell more sponsorships online.
What to watch: Adding financial services coverage could help further expand Punchbowl’s presence outside of the DC bubble.
- This year, the company hosted about 30 events, including those in Michigan, New Hampshire, Miami and, most recently, Texas.
The bottom line: “We see a huge opportunity for coverage not only in our newsletters, but also for product launches and custom industry-specific events in Washington and elsewhere to bring our content to life for our community,” wrote the Punchbowl executives in the memo.