Benzinga’s Detroit Move Fuels Their Big VisionBy Amanda Lewan on October 15th, 2015 /
Jason Raznick founder of Benzinga says their success was somewhat accidental at first. He started Benzinga, the financial media company, back in 2010. Now five years later the company has seen exponential growth and made a move to join the technology scene in Downtown Detroit.
How did they capture this growth? For Raznick being open to change and listening to the customers first helped them see sales grow.
“Really listening to the customer and going above and beyond their expectations,” he said. “We use our Midwest mentality to outshine and work harder than others.”
They also developed strategic partnerships where they brought value to the table, and in return received traffic and vital help with licencing. The website started off as a small cap news feed in an area most news providers were undeserving: the $300million-1 billion market cap. As they grew they tried launching into other verticals such as politics, where the did see a temporary spike in traffic, but ultimately decided to stay in their niche.
“Certain partners wanted more things, so we started expanding quickly. But you can’t lose your focus,” he said. “We’re a financial and data company. We think when we grow up and mature more we can expand into more verticals.”
Benzinga was originally located in Southfield where there 35 full time employees work, though Raznick says he’s considered a location Downtown for sometime. Raznick says the move to Downtown Detroit this month will help to fuel their growth strategy including hiring 40 more employees over the next few years.
“We want to build a really sustainable company. We have big aspirations,” said Raznick. “We could sell the company now for a good exit but we have lofty goals and want to achieve them.”
But he also has a message for other local entrepreneurs in the area. Raznick wants to reaffirm that entrepreneurship is not easy, and it takes a lot of hard work and dedication.
“I don’t want people to get the impression that startups are easy. You’ve got to have a little bit of blind faith,” he said. “We’re growing up. We’re from here. We’re staying here. We really want to build a big business that helps make their lives better. There’s a ton of work we have to do. We could change our model but then we aren’t sticking to our mission solving problems for investors’.
“There are no easy answers. We’re hoping with our move to Detroit we can consult mentors a lot more. We want our office to be open and friendly. We want to help put Detroit on the map over the next 3-10 years.”