50% of revenue at Exame now comes from educational offering

By Brie Logsdon


Nashville, Tennessee, United States


Before BTG Pactual bought bi-weekly print business magazine Exame at auction in December 2019, the company did qualitative and quantitative research on the benefits and potential challenges the acquisition would bring.

One key benefit highlighted by focus groups is the power of the brand in Brazil, Renato Mimica, Exame’s chief executive officer, said in a fireside chat at last weekINMA Latin American Conference, sponsored by the Google News Initiative.

This intellectual property, combined with the company’s digital presence — 15 million unique visits per month — made Exame a wise purchase: “We believed there was huge opportunity despite all the financial challenges.”

Kaio Philipe, chief operating officer at Bloomberg Linea, interviews Renato Mimica, CEO at Exame.
Kaio Philipe, chief operating officer at Bloomberg Linea, interviews Renato Mimica, CEO at Exame.

Newsroom transition

Beyond filling out teams with new hires and renegotiating contracts with partners and suppliers, Mimica said a strategic first step was to turn the print-first company into a digital-first, multi-channel organisation. Exame’s newsroom, the team’s passion for data and embrace of new tools and technology, was key to this shift.

“A lot of the success had to do with our newsroom team, which did an amazing job of transforming this culture rather rapidly,” Mimica said.

Advertising transition

With digitalisation of its content strategy, Mimica said Exame also reformulated its advertising product. The company is now a multimedia, data-oriented content producer that offers full advertising solutions to partners. 

For one client in the B2B technology space, Exame designed a project that includes a quarterly print magazine and special dinners where the partner invites 10 current clients and Exame invites 10 prospective clients for more personal, face-to-face interactions. These types of projects offer Exame’s partners opportunities to reach new clients, which can sometimes be a challenge in the B2B space, Mimica said.

“It’s much more than delivering only empty inventory,” Mimica said. “It’s about what the client needs, what the client wants.”

Exame Academy

While Exame has completely restructured its content and advertising models, it has also expanded its business model with a new initiative in the education space. Echoing the sentiments revealed by early focus groups around Exame’s brand power, research conducted at the same time showed that the company would be viewed positively as a digital education brand.

Exame Academy launched mid-2020 and offers a range of courses, from lead-driving free classes to full MBAs offered in partnership with universities. The team built a lead generation conversion machine to take advantage of Exame’s organic audience and a full CRM team. 

In less than three years since its acquisition, Exame has increased its revenue by 4x, and decreased its expenses by 5% to 10% on a nominal basis, Mimica said.

While the company wants to continue its growth by becoming more sophisticated and impactful in its advertising business, the education venture — which now accounts for 50% of Exame’s revenue mix — will be even more important in the future, Mimica said: “I think that in 10 years the education business will be larger than our publishing business.”

Complete conference coverage can be found here.

About Brie Logsdon

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