66. Mill Media Co

Mill Media Co is using a modern subscriber model to reignite local journalism, and it’s already being backed by some of the biggest names in print.

About the Startups 100

Now in its 16th year, the Startups 100 is the definitive list of the most promising new UK businesses. There's no fee for entry or for inclusion in our index. The Startups team of new business experts judge all our top 100 entrants in collaboration with specialist industry consultants. We also work with distinguished entrepreneurs as guest judges to decide our Startups 100 category award winners.

See our guide to this year’s hottest new businesses and most innovative founders in the complete 2024 Startups 100 index.

Founder: Joshi Herrmann
Year founded: 2021

Local journalism is on the decline in the UK. As more of us access news through social media, over 320 local titles closed across the country between 2009 and 2019. And, staffing and funding business issues caused by COVID-19 have weakened the industry further.

This isn’t just a tragedy for local news teams. It’s a blow to readers looking for reliable information about what’s happening where they live. But, where does this leave those who prioritise high-quality, community-led articles over the infinite scroll? 

Founded in 2020 by Joshi Herrmann, Mill Media Co is a grassroots media company on a mission to feed the public’s appetite for quality local news. The idea first came to Herrmann after he saw Substack users pay for low volumes of quality, well-executed news stories – and it snowballed from there. 

Mill Media Co creates long-form, nuanced stories that are written to the same standard as global news. But, unlike traditional local news channels, the publisher is funded by subscribers instead of advertisers, affording its readers a completely ad-free experience.

Herrmann’s vision is catching speed fast. In its short three-year history, Mill Media Co has already built a presence in three cities – Sheffield, Liverpool, and Manchester. It’s also attracted a loyal following of over 70,000 email subscribers and 5,000 paying members. 

Its commitment to original reporting and successful paywall funding model isn’t going unnoticed by the industry, either. The company has already won several journalism awards and secured seed funding from some of the biggest names in media, including Sir Mark Thompson, the former director of the BBC and CEO of the New York Times.

Despite Mill Media Co’s modest team size, the sky appears to be its limit. After recently being valued at £1.75 million, the publisher is firmly setting its gaze on expansion – aspiring to be the number one quality local media brand in the UK, with branches in over a dozen cities within the next five years.

If Mill Media Co’s impressive track record is anything to go by, its next steps are definitely something you’ll want to read all about. 

Startups.co.uk can help your business succeed

At Startups.co.uk, we’re here to help small UK businesses to get started, grow and succeed. As well as rounding up some of the biggest success stories in our annual Startups 100 list, we have resources to help new businesses get off the ground.

What Does Your Business Need Help With?

Get Started
Back to Top