Founder Jason Raznick to retain significant stake and play a key leadership role.
In late October, it was announced that Detroit-based financial media platform and analytics business Benzinga was majority acquired at a nine-digit valuation by private equity firm Beringer Capital.
Benzinga founder/CEO Jason Raznick refers to this phase of Benzinga as entering its “second inning” of what they will build.
“Created by the people for the people,” the tech-enabled Benzinga delivers dynamic news, investment analytics and market information. Benzinga’s editorial coverage spans traditional financial markets, politics, biotech, cannabis, cryptocurrencies and more.
The partnership with Beringer is meant to accelerate Benzinga’s “mission to level the playing field” for individual investors.
Benzinga was born out of the Great Recession in 2010, and Raznick has since built Benzinga to be a resource widely used by individual investors. Its staff of more than 100 delivers insights to nearly 25 million readers each month, spanning more than 125 countries worldwide.
Raznick will retain a significant stake in the company and continue to play a key leadership role in charting Benzinga’s future growth and vision.
Raznick makes a concerted effort to put his name as co-founder of Benzinga, even though he founded the company himself.
“I think the company is co-founded every day by the team members who are there and come up with new ideas and new ways to do things,” he says. “When I say the ‘second inning,’ I just think we’re at the very beginning stages of our company. There’s a lot of things to improve in the world to make people’s way of getting investing information easier.”
Raznick says this move and Benzinga’s work with Beringer will reflect that “second inning” in many ways for investors, including working toward more thorough personalization efforts and understanding that better, using AI-type features, thinking about other content-vertical coverage that people in the investment world participate in such as alternative investments and sports betting, and other verticals that will play a role as well.
For Raznick, starting and growing Benzinga in Detroit is a huge badge of honor.
“I started this business in my basement with basically no money and, to sell at this price, it’s amazing,” he says. “A lot of investors wanted us to move to New York, and I had offers, but I chose to stay here because I said, ‘Instead of just building a company, why not build a company and impact a city at the same time?’ It’s awesome to build here. I think it’s an underdog-type story.”
Benzinga’s beginnings have Jewish ties besides Raznick being Jewish himself. After starting the company in the basement of a rental in Birmingham, Scott Kaufman, former CEO of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, gave Raznick subsidized office space in Bingham Farms in the Farbman Group building. For about the first year Benzinga existed, the company was there.
“Without that, we never would have had office space and I may have moved, so I think Scott Kaufman and the Jewish Federation helped in that,” Raznick said.
In relation, Raznick recently set up a generous nonprofit hosted at Federation — the Jason & Stacey Raznick Foundation.
“They helped me when I started the business, so I wanted to pay it back and host this there,” Raznick said. “I really want to help give access to people who don’t have access to things, I think a lot of life is access and learning, so I want to give that to people who don’t have it, and then to help where I can. My grandfather taught me that life is more about giving than receiving.”
Along with significant growth and finding great talent, Raznick’s biggest goal for Benzinga is to make millions of people’s investment lives easier on a daily basis.
“What we do today might not be what we’re doing tomorrow; we’re always looking for new ideas,” Raznick said. “Don’t think of what we do today as who we are; we’re a place that looks to find a better way and creates stuff from scratch.”