After raising $150m last month, music experiences company Pollen lets 150 staff go


In April, music, travel and experiences company Pollen raised $150 million in a Series C round.

This month, the firm has made a number of redundancies, according to social media posts from former employees, which indicate that the London-headquartered firm has let over 150-plus members of staff go in the UK and the US.

Founded in 2014 by brothers Callum & Liam Negus-Fancey, the company made two impressive hires in the UK in 2021, naming Zeon Richards as Head of Hip Hop Partnerships and Christine Osazuwa as its Strategy Director for Pollen Presents.

According to a post on LinkedIn, Osazuwa is one of the execs to be exiting the firm.

MBW reached out to Pollen for a statement about the reported redundancies, and its Co-Founder and CEO Callum Negus-Fancey told us that, “as part of closing our Series C round, we agreed on a new plan with our investors where we will continue to show strong growth while taking the business to profitability faster through greater focus and cutting our costs by 15 percent”.

He added that, “we ran a thorough process and there are no more planned changes.”

Pollen runs two offerings: Pollen Presents, which curates experiences for customers across travel, music, and more; and Pollen+, which partners with promoters and music festivals to offer customers who book through its platforms perks at events.

The firm says that it uses data and customer insights to create experiences that are exclusive to its platform, and also partners with “the biggest music festivals and brands in the world” to sell their experiences.

The company has created exclusive travel experiences featuring artists like J Balvin, Justin Bieber, and Duran Duran.

Pollen announced its Series C round in April, having previously raised over $100 million in VC funding.

The company’s investors include Kindred, Northzone, Sienna Capital, Backed and Draper Spirit.

“As part of closing our Series C round, we agreed on a new plan with our investors where we will continue to show strong growth while taking the business to profitability faster through greater focus and cutting our costs by 15 percent.

Negus-Fancey, Pollen

In a statement provided to MBW, Pollen Co-Founder and CEO Callum Negus-Fancey, said: “In the current macroeconomic environment, investors want to see growth stage technology companies have a clear path to profitability.

“As part of closing our Series C round, we agreed on a new plan with our investors where we will continue to show strong growth while taking the business to profitability faster through greater focus and cutting our costs by 15 percent.

“This is not unique to Pollen. It’s a trend happening across the technology industry as companies adjust their strategies in order to adapt to these new market realities. We ran a thorough process and there are no more planned changes.”Music Business Worldwide



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