Digital Publisher Mic. Disrupting the News Industry

  • 12 April 2017
  • Matthew Mazerolle

Last Friday, April 07, digital publisher and news industry disruptor Mic announced they’d closed Series C funding with $21 million raised. The financing round was led by previous investors, Lightspeed Venture Partners and included investments from Time Warner Investments, Kyu Collective, a branch of the Japanese ad holding company Hakuhodo DY Holdings, and San Francisco-based, You & Mr Jones. The company intends to use the funds to “aggressively expand its premium video offerings for live and [subscription video on demand] distributors.”

This latest round brings Mic’s funding total to $52 million – and while that isn’t as much as digital publishers like BuzzFeed have raised in the past, Mic’s chief executive and co-founder, Chris Altchek is quite happy with the results stating, “We’ve really quickly and capital efficiently built up an audience that’s bigger than almost anybody else in news.”        

Mic was founded in 2011 by Chris Altchek and Jake Horowitz because “of the recognition that the old models of journalism had become less engaging and relevant.” Their goal is to provide the news in a modern format that engages the younger generations, specifically millennials, without sacrificing essential fact-finding and journalistic ethics. “We reject the idea that professional journalism held to the highest standards can’t be delivered in modern forms that meet people where and how they live.”

Mr.Altchek feels there’s a real opportunity for Mic to define how future generations get their news. He explains, “News has been sort of out of favor for a few years, but clearly of late it is one of the categories that is most important in video and TV. Yet in the TV business, their core challenge is that the median age of their viewer is really, really old. So it has become really clear that winning in news is a huge opportunity and we’re in position to do that.”

At the end of March, Mic let fans know they’d be unveiling nine new channels, such as Slay which focuses on women’s issues and ‘Navigating Trump’s America’ which is… well, pretty self-explanatory. Funds from the Series C round will be used to hire staff for the new channels and help get them off the ground.

Also of note, Allison Goldberg will be joining Mic’s board of directors as part of the latest financing round. Ms.Goldberg has been a part of Time Warner since 2001 and was promoted to vice president of Time Warner Investments in January of this year. When asked if the Time Warner investment means Mic will be making shows for traditional TV, Mr.Altchek replied, “I wouldn’t necessarily call it traditional, but more like the future of cable.”

Personally, I didn’t know about Mic before I sat down to write this article, but they’re on my weekly reading list now.

Want to learn more? Check out this article by TechCrunch.       

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About Matthew Mazerolle

Matthew Mazerolle is a staff writer with Disruptor Daily - and their resident Canadian. When he's not writing about disruptive startups you'll still find him at the computer gaming or catching up on current events.