Live & Touring

Music event startup Pollen enters administration after raising $150M just 3 months ago

Just three months after raising $150 million, music travel and event company Pollen has been forced into the UK equivalent of bankruptcy.

by  Stacy Simons Santos of Celebrity Access

The music-related event experience and UK-born travel company Pollen faces mounting pressure from creditors. According to HM Tribunals website, the order was issued by creditors 101 Ways Limited. Pollen says the debt has been settled, and the petition has been withdrawn.

Pollen

Streetteam Software Limited, Pollen’s UK-based parent company, has called in New York-headquartered restructuring and insolvency specialists Kroll to administer its restructuring. In an official statement issued by Streetteam Software Limited, the company says its “management team have been in ongoing negotiations with a potential buyer for the parent company but have been unable to agree to terms in an appropriate time frame, leaving the board and shareholders agreeing the best option is to restructure the business.”

The statement added that “bids have already been received for the customer-facing subsidiary companies” of Streetteam Software Limited, adding that “customer experiences and refunds will not be affected.” The statement claimed further that Streetteam Software Ltd’s subsidiary businesses “will continue to trade as normal.”

In May, the company, founded in 2014 by brothers Callum and Liam Negus-Fancey, laid off over 150 members of its staff, just one month after raising $150 million in a Series C round. The company’s investors included Kindred, Northzone, Sienna Capital, Backed, and Draper Spirit.

The UK government is an investor in Pollen through the Future Fund, which is not thought to be a preferred creditor in bankruptcy proceedings. The Telegraph reports today (August 10) that investors are not expecting any return, and early investor – Sienna has already written off its own $93 million stake in the company.

Pollen’s 500 staff members face further uncertainty, with many of them not being paid for more than a month. Digital Music News reached out to some impacted staff who have shared their frustrations with the lack of communication. Many share they haven’t quit because that would lose their employee protections under US law. The company was reported earlier this month to have delayed its payroll in July.

Additionally, widely respected British music executive Zeon Richards had resigned from his position as Head of Partnerships at the company, “citing practices within the company which do not align with my ethics.”

Pollen’s parent company reported a loss of $62m for the year ending December 31, 2021, according to company accounts filed with the UK’s Companies House and reported by MBW.

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