Songkick – which allows users to follow music artists, their live music events and book tickets – has raised a $10 million B round of financing from Sequoia Capital. This is Sequoia’s first ever investment in a U.K.-headquartered startup. The round takes Songkick’s total funding to date to around the $17 million mark. Previous backers include Y Combinator, SoftTech, The Accelerator Group and Index Ventures. Sequoia’s Greg McAdoo joins the board.
The news is interesting because it’s evidence of a general drift of U.S. firms to look abroad for more capital-efficient companies outside of the increasingly high costs of Silicon Valley. Sequoia and General Atlantic have both invested in Klarna out of Sweden. Union Square and Kleiner Perkins have invested in Soundcloud, based in Berlin.
Songkick has five million unique users on its site every month, and is now the second largest concert site after Ticketmaster. They’ve also signed distribution partnerships with a great roster, including Yahoo, YouTube, Foursquare, Spotify, Vevo, MTV and Soundcloud. An integration with Spotify is no doubt turning out very well, and the rumour is they are about to announce amazing new numbers on that front.
It’s also an important moment for the scrappy startup which was founded in an attic in 2007 by Ian Hogarth, Michelle You and Pete Smith as an early Y Combinator company. It became one of the original anchor startups in London’s ‘Silicon Roundabout’ area, in the East of the city, which is now being promoted externally as “Tech City” by the U.K. government. They’ve also done wonders for the area, promoting Silicon Milkroundabout, but are now expanding with a San Francisco office.
Songkick lists over 100,000 upcoming concerts, has indexed well over 2 million gigs with reviews, set lists, videos and photographs. “When someone starts using Songkick, they go to almost twice as many gigs the year after,” says Ian Hogarth.
Initially funded by the Y Combinator seed fund Last year it raised another $2 million and launched an iPhone app which got 100,000 downloads in its first two weeks. It’s also been hiring out of Google.
Something tells me there’ll be a few drinks sunk in Bar Music Hall tonight.