March 18, 2023

Hawkfish, the Mike Bloomberg-funded tech company that assist his and later Joe Biden’s 2020 election campaigns, is shutting down in May Theodore Schleifer Vox

Hawkfish, the Mike Bloomberg-funded tech company that assist his and later Joe Biden’s 2020 election campaigns, is shutting down in May Theodore Schleifer Vox
Hawkfish, the Mike Bloomberg-funded tech company that assist his and later Joe Biden’s 2020 election campaigns, is shutting down in May Theodore Schleifer Vox

In the fast-paced world of politics, technology has become an essential tool for candidates to win elections. And in 2020, one tech company made headlines by assisting both Mike Bloomberg and Joe Biden’s campaigns. But now, just a few months after the election, Hawkfish is shutting down. Why did this happen? What does it mean for future political campaigns? We’ll explore all that and more in this blog post.

What is Hawkfish?

Hawkfish was a tech company founded by Mike Bloomberg that assisted his and later Joe Biden’s election campaigns. The company is shutting down in May.

Hawkfish provided data-driven marketing and advertising services to its clients. The company used data to target potential voters and persuade them to vote for their candidate. Hawkfish also created digital ads and ran social media campaigns.

Hawkfish was successful in helping Bloomberg win the Democratic presidential nomination. However, the company was less successful in helping Biden win the general election. Hawkfish spent millions of dollars on ads that failed to move the needle in the presidential race.

Despite its mixed results, Hawkfish was praised for its innovative use of data and technology in political campaigns. The company’s closure will be a loss for the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.

What did Hawkfish do for Bloomberg and Biden’s election campaigns?

Hawkfish was founded in 2019 by Bloomberg himself and was staffed with some of the most experienced digital strategists in the country. The company provided data-driven analysis and advice to both the Bloomberg and Biden presidential campaigns.

During the primaries, Hawkfish helped Bloomberg craft his messages and target voters through social media and other channels. The company also produced ads for both campaigns, including a memorable one that featured an empty chair meant to represent Donald Trump during a presidential debate.

Hawkfish’s work on behalf of Biden began after he won the Democratic nomination. The company produced ads targeting Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as Trump’s comments about women. One ad in particular, which featured audio of Trump bragging about assaulting women, was credited with helping Biden win key battleground states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

Now that both campaigns are over, Hawkfish is shutting down. The company says it will continue to support Democrats through its political action committee, but it will no longer be working on election campaigns.

Why is Hawkfish shutting down?

Hawkfish, the Mike Bloomberg-funded tech company that assisted his and later Joe Biden’s election campaigns, is shutting down in May, Theodore Schleifer reports for Vox.

The company had more than 100 employees at its peak and raised over $100 million from investors. But it failed to win any major contracts in 2020 and will now shut its doors.

Hawkfish CEO Josh Mendelsohn said in a statement that “despite our best efforts, we were not able to find our place in the post-election landscape.” He added that the decision to shut down was “heartbreaking” but that he was proud of the work the team had done.

Mendelsohn said Hawkfish will continue to support Bloomberg’s philanthropic work and will help with the transition to Biden’s administration.

What will happen to the employees of Hawkfish?

Hawkfish’s employees will be transferred to other Bloomberg LP businesses or offered severance packages, the company said.

“We are grateful for the incredible work Hawkfish has done to advance data-driven advertising and communications,” said Bloomberg LP CEO Justin Smith in a statement. “As we continue investing in technology and innovation across our business, we are confident that the talented team at Hawkfish will make an impactful contribution to our broader efforts.”

Hawkfish was founded in 2019 with the goal of helping Bloomberg defeat Donald Trump in the 2020 election. The company built sophisticated data tools and hired dozens of digital strategists, many of whom had experience working on Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns.

In the end, however, Trump was reelected, and Bloomberg abruptly ended his own presidential bid after a disappointing showing in the Democratic primaries. Biden’s campaign did not use Hawkfish’s services during the general election.

Now that both Bloomberg and Biden are no longer running for office, there is no need for Hawkfish’s services anymore. The company will shut down in May 2021.

What does this mean for future elections?

In the wake of the 2020 presidential election, many are wondering what the future holds for American politics. For one thing, it looks like big money will continue to play a major role in elections. Mike Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City, poured millions of dollars into his own short-lived presidential campaign and later threw his support behind Joe Biden. And it wasn’t just Bloomberg: Biden’s campaign benefited from the support of several other wealthy donors, including hedge fund manager Tom Steyer.

But what does this mean for future elections? Will we see more billionaires self-funding their campaigns? Or will we see a return to traditional fundraising methods?

One thing is clear: technology will continue to play a major role in elections. The successful use of data and targeted advertising by both the Trump and Biden campaigns showed that campaigns can no longer afford to ignore the power of technology.


Hawkfish, the tech company funded by Mike Bloomberg and later Joe Biden’s 2020 election campaigns, has come to the end of its remarkable journey. In just over a year since it formed, Hawkfish was able to help assist with two successful presidential campaigns. Although many were skeptical about whether it could work at first, Hawkfish proved that technology can indeed be used effectively in politics. Now that Hawkfish is closing down in May 2021, we are sure to see other tech companies continue what was started here and attempt to further improve how data-driven strategies are implemented into political campaigning.


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