Space is at a premium in Business Insider’s Manhattan office. The 400 employees sit elbow to elbow. The small kitchen is stacked to the rafters with empty cola cans. A once-full basket of fruit snacks is nearly empty. Paintings of Vikings, the business, technology and celebrity news website’s mascot, adorn the walls alongside inspirational messages: “Fewer meetings + faster” is scribbled on one.
The stuffiness reflects Business Insider’s rapid ascent. Later this year, the company that was started only eight years ago but is now competing with CNN Money for the title of America’s most widely-read financial website, will move to a bigger office with a view of the Statue of Liberty. “We’re growing as fast as we can,” said Henry Blodget, the firm’s CEO.
Axel Springer, the largest publishing house in Europe and the dominant newspaper company in Germany, purchased Business Insider in 2015 for a staggering $442 million (€389 million). At the time, this sum was 10 times more than Business Insider’s annual sales, and the takeover dumbfounded experts. “It surprised me how negative the reaction was at the time,” said Jens Müffelmann, Axel Springer’s US boss and head of digital ventures.