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Hawkr secured £260K funding to provide artists with new means of selling and purchasing merchandise


Hawkr, a London-based digital platform that makes buying and selling merchandise at live music events more accessible, profitable, and sustainable, has secured £260,000 in a Seed round of funding.

The round was led by Jenson Funding Partners (also backed Ascension-Q), a venture capital firm focused on early-stage investments, and other investors. 

The platform aims to transform the live music merchandising space with a data-driven solution and innovative features.

Jamie Monson, Co-founder and CEO of Hawkr, says: “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 firsthand. 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.”

Streamlines process for artists and fans

For decades, the process of selling merchandise at live music events has been the same: artists must forecast sales volumes, order and pay upfront for the merchandise, and carry it around from show to show. 

This outdated practice leads to a loss of sales when products run out midway through a tour or leftover inventory that is difficult to sell once the tour is over.

However, this presented an opportunity for Hawkr’s co-founders Jamie Monson and Les Seddon-Brown in 2021 to develop and build out their idea for a digital platform that streamlines the process for artists and fans, making it more accessible, profitable, and sustainable.

The founding duo Jamie and Les met working at Vision Nine and have been great friends for more than 15 years. 

They have also worked together on other projects before starting Hawkr. Chas and Les, both active musicians, met playing gigs together in the early-mid 2000s.

Focuses on-demand technology

The platform is centred around print-on-demand technology and direct-to-consumer sales. 

Artists can create designs, upload the final product to their virtual merch stand, and then set the items live during a show while directing attendees to the platform via in-venue promotion. 

Fans can browse apparel on their phones, select their size and desired item, and have it sent to Hawkr’s print-on-demand supplier. Once the merchandise is printed, Hawkr handles all fulfilment and logistics, with the item shipped straight to fans’ front doors.

Hawkr also collects data on what products fans are purchasing, bringing added value to the artists that utilise the platform. 

Currently, 150 artists are on the Hawkr platform, with some touring upwards of 15 shows a month. 

Hawkr has already partnered with several notable industry organisations and groups, including Marshall Amps, the Featured Artists Coalition, and Brian Eno’s music eco charity Earth/Percent.

Hawkr handled the merchandise for artist Millie Manders and the Shutup during a festival performance in which she partnered with the local radio station. On average, the artist would sell a few hundred pounds worth of merchandise per show, but during this event brought in over £4,500 in sales.

Currently, the company employs 7 people, a mix of white British and white Portuguese out of which 5 are male and 2 are females. 

Sarah Barber, CEO of Jenson Funding Partners, adds: “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. 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.”

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