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Pollen faces administration – report

Events start-up Pollen is set to fall into administration, with restructuring firm Kroll ready to be appointed as administrators.

According to a report from The Telegraph, the ticketing tech start-up is close to falling into administration after sales talks collapsed. It would also have a a knock-on effect for the tax payer, as Pollen received backing from then-Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Future Fund.

A press release from Steetteam Software Limited, which owns Pollen, said that it has called in Kroll to administer its restructuring.

The article from The Telegraph also stated that the UK Government is an investor in Pollen through the Future Fund, which is not thought to be a preferred creditor. The Future Fund was set up during the pandemic to support start-ups.

Sienna, one of Pollen’s biggest investors, had already written down the value of its $93m (£79/€91m) stake to zero, according to The Telegraph. In April, Pollen announced that it had raised $150m in Series C funding.

The news comes after a troublesome few months for Pollen, which has resulted in over a 150 staff being laid off, and remaining employees left unpaid.

According to the report, Pollen had received interest for parts of its business, but a full sale was off the cards as it had fallen through. The company had been working with Goldman Sachs on a potential sale.

Pollen has started to postpone or cancel tickets for events due to be held in the coming weeks.

Pollen was founded in 2014 by brothers Callum and Liam Negus-Fancey and sells travel experiences incorporating live events. The company has worked with artists such as Duran Duran and Justin Bieber, and live music event promoters like Live Nation and Electric Zoo to create packages.

In a statement to TheTicketingBusiness.com, a Pollen spokesperson said: “We’re working hard to achieve the best outcome for all our stakeholders.”

The spokesperson added: “It is important to clarify that as soon as the company were notified that US employees would lose their healthcare benefits, they immediately found a solution and offered one-on-one calls with each employee to put plans in place.  We continue to work with all affected employees to find solutions.”

Image: Danny Howe on Unsplash