Republik set crowdfunding records. Then reality hit.

Republik, a Swiss news startup, raised $2.4 million in less than two weeks in 2017, when a crowdfunding campaign that promised a new kind of journalism took off and set records.A year after its launch, its de facto publisher, Christof Moser, looks slightly more gaunt and tired than he once did when the digital magazine first went online. He sits on the edge of his chair when talking about the project he has lived, slept, and dreamt about since he and nine other founders hacked the Swiss journalism world with their start-up.

“There were some fuck-ups of course, but on the whole, we are on a good course,” he says, with what might be described as Swiss understatement. In the past year, the digital magazine ramped up from 10 to 50 employees. Spending, by its own admission, got a bit out of control. Even with an additional $3.5 million contribution from investors, the magazine was over-budget. It has spent more than $6.5 million since its inception.

And this month marked a key moment for Republik, one of a number of sites around the world  aiming to find new ways to fund and run journalism: its initial backers will have to renew their subscriptions, and pay again. Read more here…