Recode is a technology news website that focuses on the business of Silicon Valley. It was founded by Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher in January 2014 after they left Dow Jones and the similar website they had previously co-founded, AllThingsD. Vox Media acquired the website in May 2015.
In September 2013, technology journalists Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher left AllThingsD, the technology news site they had founded and developed for Dow Jones and News Corp. Mossberg left the Wall Street Journal at the end of the year, leaving behind a popular, weekly technology column. The two launched their new, independent technology news website, Recode, on January 2, 2014. Its holding company, Revere Digital, received minority investments from NBCUniversal and Terry Semel's Windsor Media. The total investment was estimated between US$10 and 15 million. Mossberg and Swisher held the company's majority stake and noted its comfortable financial stance. Recode also provided breaking technology coverage for NBCUniversal and received video resources and exposure in return via a formal partnership. Mossberg saw the investment as an opportunity to implement new ways of covering the technology field, and planned to add an additional six employees on technology policy and mobile beats. The CNBC partnership also explored new advertising efforts and shared office space. At launch, the 23-person team included all former members of AllThingsD. The staff also received equity in the company.
Mossberg and Swisher also planned to continue their prominent, annual AllThingsD conference, which they renamed the "Code" conference and scheduled for the same time and location: late May in Dana Point, California. Recode also kept plans to continue their separate mobile and media conferences. CNBC became a partner in these conferences. A part-time team of 12 employees run the conferences.
The site developed a reputation for breaking tech industry news, but ultimately did not reach the level of popularity it expected, with just 1.5 million regular monthly visitors. Vox Media acquired the website in May 2015 in a move that The New York Times described as a reflection of tumult in online technology journalism. Vox purchased all of the company's stock, but the details of the transaction were not released. At the time of the acquisition, Recode had 44 employees and three additional employees by contract. They were expected to join Vox. Mossberg and Swisher planned to stay with the website. The two were impressed with Vox Media's audience reach. Vox's technology news website, The Verge, had eight times the traffic, in comparison. The scope of the two sites were not expected to overlap with Recode's emphasis on technology industry business and The Verge's on "being a new kind of culture publication". An internal study found a three percent overlap in content between the two sites.
On May 8, 2016, Recode relaunched with a new design under editor-in-chief Dan Frommer.
As continued from AllThingsD, Recode focuses on technology and digital media news, particularly pertaining to the business of Silicon Valley. The site also reviews new enterprise and consumer hardware and software, and conducts original reports.