How the Atlantic went from broke to profitable in three years + more

By  Recuro
Apr 3rd 2024
Read time: 
3 minutes
Table of contents
WEEKLY NEWS ROUNDUP
1. Swedish SaaS company Fortnox attracts short sellers – Financial Times

Fortnox has turned into a stock market sensation whose share price has risen fivefold in recent years. But analysts question how much further $4.6bn niche business can expand, and how large the addressable market actually is, writes Financial Times.

“At stake is the company’s market capitalisation which was $4.6bn on Tuesday, a 23 times multiple of forecast sales that has made it one of the world’s most highly valued software groups, more expensive on that metric than Nvidia.”

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2. Meta targeted in EU’s first Digital Markets Act probe – Reuters

Following complaints from several European consumer watchdogs, Meta’s subscription service, along with Apple and Alphabet, will be investigated for potential breaches of the EU’s new Digital Markets Act, European antitrust regulators said, potentially leading to hefty fines for the companies.

“[Commissioner] Breton said Meta, which introduced a no-ads subscription service in Europe last November that has triggered criticism from rivals and users, should offer free alternative options. A Meta spokesperson said the company was endeavouring to comply with the act’s guidance.”

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3. Consortium places an acquisition bid on Awardit – Press release

A consortium has placed a bid on the publicly listed Awardit, a publicly listed SaaS provider of customer clubs and loyalty programs. The offer values Awardit to about 1 143 million SEK.

Awardit is a leading operator of customer clubs, loyalty programs, sales incentive programs, digital points currencies and reward shops, targeting B2B & B2C customers and is the largest company and platform in the Nordics in the sector, with an emerging market leading position in the DACH region.”

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4. The Norwegian SaaS giant Visma merges two Swedish portfolio companies –  Breakit

Norwegian Visma already owns Svensk e-identitet, which has developed solutions for login, authentication, and e-signing, and the company Egreement, specializing in contract processes. Now Svensk e-identitet will integrate Egreement into its existing operations.

“The SaaS giant Visma acquired Svensk e-identitet in 2017. It was announced at that time that the company would continue as an independent entity within the Visma group. Egreement was part of a Norwegian group until 2021 when Visma acquired it.”

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5. Minecraft Introduces new monthly subscription 💫 – Subscription Insider

Minecraft, the best-selling video game of all time, developed by Swedish Mojang Studios and owned by Microsoft since 2014, has launched a new monthly subscription service called the Marketplace Pass, allowing access to premium downloadable content, skins, and exclusive content without individual purchases.

“The success of this new subscription will depend on the quality and variety of content offered, a fresh content catalog to keep subscribers engaged, and how cannibalistic or accretive its revenue will be compared to its traditional one-off in-game purchases.”

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WEEKLY ANALYSIS ROUNDUP

1. “Fortnox vs Financial Times – who is to be trusted?” – Breakit

For the world’s heaviest financial newspaper to highlight a Swedish company that doesn’t even turn over 2 billion SEK is not common. But now Fortnox must answer the questions raised in the article, writes Breakit’s Martin Hävner.

The article raises several question marks about the Swedish SaaS star and the information the company has released in recent years – as the market value has soared to a staggering 49 billion SEK. That’s equivalent to 29 times the company’s revenue in 2023. These are really not small question marks. They are so gigantic that a single question echoes in the mind after reading the article: Who can be trusted?”

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2. How the Atlantic went from broke to profitable in three years
– Wall Street Journal


A few years ago, the magazine The Atlantic was running at a loss, its traffic was decreasing, and it had to lay off a large portion of its staff. Now, the magazine is profitable again — and the editorial team is expanding. This is partly due to the new CEO’s focused work on pricing, writes The Wall Street Journal.

“A core part of Thompson’s strategy was to figure out how much readers would be willing to pay for a subscription. He ended up raising subscription prices by more than 50%, and made it harder for people to read stories without paying.”

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3. “The economics of antibiotics are broken – but a solution inspired by the subscription economy could mend it” – Fortune

Under the proposed Pasteur Act, Washington would pay the developers of successful new antibiotics a fixed, annual subscription fee for a specified time period. In exchange, drug makers would supply as much of their product as the government needs, writes Fortune’s Howard Dean.

“The Pasteur Act uses a business model we all know well – subscriptions. Think of a streaming video service: You pay a flat fee, then get unlimited access to the content, of which you can watch as much or as little as you like.”

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