Today Hawkr is pleased to announce a £260,000 in a Seed round led by early-stage focused venture capital firm Jenson Funding Partners and other investors.
Hawkr has developed a digital platform for merchandising at live shows, making the buying and selling apparel at live music events more accessible, profitable, and sustainable.
Selling merchandise at live music events has been old-fashioned for decades. Artists typically have to forecast sales volumes, order and pay upfront for the merchandise, and carry it around from show to show.
A merch table is set up each night and staffed by someone hired to be a salesperson or sometimes even the musicians themselves.
The practice isn’t sustainable as artists either lose sales when product stocks run out midway through a tour or get stuck with leftover inventory that’s difficult to sell after a tour’s completion.
Hawker’s platform centres around print-on-demand technology and direct-to-consumer sales. Artists can use the platform to create apparel designs, upload the final product to their virtual merch stand, and then set the items live during a show.
Fans can browse the items on their phones, select their size and desired item, and have it sent to Hawkr’s print-on-demand supplier, with Hawkr handling all fulfilment and logistics.
Another key advantage of Hawkr is that it collects data on what products fans are purchasing, bringing added value to the artists that utilise the platform.
Jamie Monson, co-founder and CEO of Hawkr, ran major music festivals for nearly a decade and said:
“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.”
150 artists are currently on the Hawkr platform, with some touring over 15 shows a month.
In one instance, 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.
Hawkr is also partnering with several industry organisations, including Marshall Amps, the Featured Artists Coalition, and Brian Eno’s music eco charity Earth/Percent.
With the investment led by early-stage focused venture capital firm Jenson Funding Partners and other investors, Hawkr will advance the development of its platform and data-driven solution with a pipeline of new innovative features while continuing to build out its partnership network within the music industry.