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HubSpot acquires The Hustle

Indie hackers have once again flexed their value.

HubSpot announced Thursday that it acquired The Hustle for an undisclosed amount.

  • The decision reflects HubSpot's desire to connect directly with an audience of indie hackers and scaling companies.
  • Axios reports that the deal was worth about $27 million.

Why? In buying The Hustle, HubSpot plans to not only beef up its content for entrepreneurs but also build a more direct sales conduit to indie hackers — a segment of the economy valued at roughly $10 billion.

  • HubSpot currently has over 95,000 customers that use its marketing, sales, and service software.

The Hustle: Founded in 2014 by Sam Parr (@thesamparr), The Hustle has 30 full-time employees and boasts a newsletter audience of more than 1.5 million people. In a casual, quick-paced delivery, the newsletter shares topical tech news, commentary, and other analysis on business stories.

  • The Hustle’s Trends newsletter has about 10,000 paying subscribers.
  • Axios, by comparison, has around 200,000 paying subscribers.

The Hustle’s plans: The San Francisco-based company said it'll offer new podcasts, products, content, and original features. The Hustle’s email will remain free.

Newsletters are trending: The Hustle connects HubSpot with a niche audience of business-focused readers. HubSpot’s acquisition of The Hustle underscores how hyper-focused media is serving as a customer acquisition and retention tool.


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Similar moves: Stripe’s acquisition of Indie Hackers in 2017 is another example of how valuable an audience of determined entrepreneurs can be.

What was in it for Stripe? Indie Hackers is home to a founder-led movement to grow successful businesses and empower one another’s growth. That community in turn creates more opportunities for Stripe to serve growing businesses.

What are your thoughts on this deal? Please share your thoughts.

  1. 6

    Today's newsletter: "The Hustle, a business newsletter that's grown to more than a million subscribers with almost zero funding."

    The Hustle in 2015: "We just raised $250k from 10 prominent Silicon Valley investors."

    Today I learnt $250,000 is "almost zero"

  2. 2

    Sweet,

    I would imagine the aquisition was for more than $27m. Trends alone probably does about $2.5m in annual revenue.

    1m+ subscribers ad revenue is probably sizable.

    I would value the deal closer to $37m

  3. 2

    I just listened to the podcast featuring sam about a few days ago. Dating back to May of 2020, it's great to hear his story and now hear about this acquirement.

    Here's the podcast for anyone else to listen: https://www.indiehackers.com/podcast/161-sam-parr-of-the-hustle

    Congratulations. I don't know how i'd react if that was me.

  4. 1

    @tilikang and I talked a bit about this during a recent Startup to Last episode.

    It seems like this transaction highlights two opportunities for Indie Hackers:

    1. Be Hubspot on a micro basis -- acquire micro-content sites for as a lead generation tactic.

    2. Be The Hustle on a micro basis -- build a micro-content site that a larger company might acquire for lead gen.

    1. 1

      This is also a pretty interesting thread by Austin Rief, one of the founders of Morning Brew.

      https://mobile.twitter.com/austin_rief/status/1358949220624052225

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