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Launched in 2021, the London-based firm aims to make buying and selling merch at music events more accessible, profitable and sustainable
By James Hanley on 28 Apr 2023
Digital live music merchandise firm Hawkr has secured £260,000 (€296,000) in a seed round led by venture capital firm Jenson Funding Partners and other investors.
Launched in 2021 by co-founders Jamie Monson and Les Seddon-Brown, London-based Hawkr aims to streamline the process for artists and fans via a digital platform and data-driven solution to make buying and selling merch at live music events more accessible, profitable and sustainable.
Hawkr is centred around print-on-demand technology and direct-to-consumer sales. Artists can use tools on the platform to create designs, upload the final product to their virtual merch stand and then set the items live during a show while directing fans to the platform via in-venue promotion.
“Hawkr isn’t just improving the live music industry with a platform that makes the merchandise buying and selling process easier for all, but doing it in a way that takes sustainability into account,” adds Sarah Barber, CEO of Jenson Funding Partners. “It’s exciting to be investing in a company that values reducing the carbon footprint of tours and live events alongside the profitability and accessibility that is at the heart of the music industry. We look forward to seeing Hawkr’s continued growth as it makes the merchandise experience better for music fans everywhere.”
“It’s a problem that’s needed a solution for a long time”
Fans are able to browse merchandise on their phones, select their item and have it sent to Hawkr’s print-on-demand supplier. Some 150 artists are currently on the Hawkr platform, and the firm also has partnerships with industry organisations and groups including Marshall Amps, the Featured Artists Coalition, and Brian Eno’s music eco charity Earth/Percent.
Hawkr plans to use the new investment to develop a pipeline of new innovative features, while continuing to build out its partnership network within the music industry.
“When I ran a portfolio of major music festivals for nearly a decade, I got to experience the merchandise world and all the issues that artists and fans go through first hand,” says Monson, Hawkr CEO. “It’s a problem that’s needed a solution for a long time, particularly on the sustainability front where it was often the case where I’d be left with countless boxes of items and be left to find ways of getting rid of it.
“Our marketplace platform helps alleviate all of these pain points and offers a more seamless process for all parties from start to finish. This funding will help us continue to develop our service and expand it to other parts of the world so artists and fans everywhere can enjoy a better experience with merch at live gigs.”
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