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Destination music experiences company Pollen raises $150m

Pollen, the music, travel and experiences start-up, has raised US$150 million in a Series C round.

Founded in 2014 by brothers Callum and Liam Negus-Fancey, the London-headquartered company 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.

Pollen Presents has organised a number of artist-curated weekenders with artists including Justin Bieber in Las Vegas, Diplo in Cabo, Kurupt FM in Amsterdam, J Balvin in Vegas and Bring Me The Horizon in Malta.

Pollen+ has partnered with promoter brands and music festivals including We Are FSTVL, Austin City Limits, Bonnaroo, Electric Zoo and Live Nation.

“People want personalised travel experiences built around what they are passionate about”

The company previously raised over $100m in venture capital funding, from investors including Kindred, Northzone, Sienna Capital, Backed and Draper Spirit.

Backers named in the latest funding announcement include Kindred, Lansdowne Partners, Northzone, Sienna Capital, Backed and Molton Ventures.

Pollen says that its Series C funding comes on the heels of “significant momentum” for the company, after seeing sales increase “more than 300% relative to pre-pandemic levels”.

“People want personalised travel experiences built around what they are passionate about,” says co-founder and CEO Callum Negus-Fancey.

“Pollen is at the forefront of this demand; we use our proprietary data and customer insights to build one-of-a-kind travel experiences with the world’s biggest talent and brands in the best destinations. When people look back after 10 years, and think about their top five memories, we want them to feel like Pollen was responsible for three of them.”

 


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UK ticketing platform Dice raises $122m in funding

Dice, the UK-based mobile ticketing and discovery platform for live events and live streams, has raised up to US$122 million in Series C funding.

The round was led by new investor, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, with follow on investments from Tony Fadell’s Future Shape, Blisce, French entrepreneur Xavier Niel, Mirabaud Private Equity, Cassius and Evolution.

In addition, Tony Fadell, iPod inventor and iPhone co-inventor, is joining the Dice board to support further platform development and expansion into venues.

Launched in London in 2014, the mobile-first platform now works with over 3,600 venues, festivals and promoters globally.

According to Dice, with the company’s current rate of growth, 49,000 artists and creators will use the platform by the end of 2022.

The platform is live in the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Australia and, since 2019, the US. In October, Dice rolled out its app in India.

“We’re overhauling an unfair, inefficient system by pioneering a transparent, data-led, fan-first approach”

In April 2020, Dice expanded its offering with live streams and has since worked on exclusive live streams with Laura Marling, Nick Cave, Kylie Minogue and Bjork.

“Dice is rewiring the live experiences industry. We have proven that if you treat fans well, they go out more,” says Phil Hutcheon, CEO and founder of Dice.

“We’re overhauling an unfair, inefficient system by pioneering a transparent, data-led, fan-first approach – building a scalable ecosystem that helps artists, promoters and venues thrive. To have SoftBank as a partner enables us to expand into every market.”

Fadell says: “The concert business is a tangled mess of archaic tools and taxing ‘industry standards’ where artists are paid last. Venues shell out for marketing and are beholden to ticket conglomerates. Fans have to hunt for shows and regularly buy overpriced tickets from secondary markets or scalpers. This doesn’t make sense!

“Dice re-engineers the entire live industry, not just a part of it: Venues are connected to fans and artists. Artists get transparency, access and control. Fans easily discover local shows and global live streams, and buy scalper-safe tickets with a single click. I’m ecstatic to be joining the Dice board and to be part of another entertainment revolution.”

In the last year, Dice has worked with 6,400 artists and sold tickets to fans in 179 countries.


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