Hawkfish, a secretive tech startup launched to help Mike Bloomberg win the 2020 presidential bid, is shutting down
Back in December 2019, we wrote about HawkFish, a secretive tech startup started by Mike Bloomberg and backed with tens of millions of dollars from the billionaire, is shutting down, according to news, which was first broke by Vox. In the end, Bloomberg lost his bid for presidency after spending over $1 billion.
The announcement is the latest retrenchment from major Democratic donors in the aftermath of the 2020 election. Bloomberg and other wealthy mega-donors had dedicated their fortunes to helping the party modernize its digital apparatus and data modeling and unseat President Trump. But despite initially speaking of long-term visions of a revitalization, donors are scaling back some of their ambitions now that Trump is out of office.
Hawkfish was founded by Mike Bloomberg along with former executives from Facebook and Foursquare to help Bloomberg in his 2020 presidential bid. Bloomberg later lost in the primary to Joe Biden.
By the end of January 2020, Bloomberg spent $300 million on his campaign and by February 2020 had exceeded $500 million. In addition, Bloomberg went on to spend another $500 million on other Democratic presidential candidates. In the end, his total spending on his campaign and other Democratic presidential candidates during the presidential primary exceed $1 billion by February, an unprecedented figure for such an early point in a US presidential election.
“After the election, Hawkfish’s leadership team and stakeholders started exploring potential avenues for the company’s future and concluded that Hawkfish would not continue in its current constitution,” Hawkfish’s CEO, Josh Mendelsohn, told employees in an email. “The decision to wind down Hawkfish’s operations was not made lightly or without considering other courses of action.”
In 2019, Hawkfish startup started working on races in Virginia and Kentucky, soon after Hawkfish incorporated in the spring. Hawkfish will be the “primary digital agency and technology services provider for the campaign,” Julie Wood, a Bloomberg campaign spokeswoman, told CNBC. She added that the firm “is now providing digital ad services, including content creation, ad placement and analytics” for their campaign.