live music

5gig, a social network for concert goers, gets more money and eyes rest of Europe

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This Horgan Becket media cart is somewhat expensive

nvivo[Spain] has been around for 3 years now here in Spain. It’s a name most of the online scene is quite familiar with, especially those that frequent concerts.  Nvivo, which sounds like “en vivo” or “live” in Spanish, is a social network for concert goers, the place to discover upcoming music venues, follow artists, manage your own concert agenda and, according to nvivo, never miss another concert again.

Sounds a lot like Songkick? Yup. Very much so, although nvivo launched first but with less noise. Nowadays, competition is abundant. While Songkick focuses on the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand (the English speaking countries), has been busy rolling out local European versions, branding itself as 5gig internationally. It’s currently available in the US, UK, France, Italy, The Netherlands and Germany under the 5gig brand and is aggregating 35 different concert providers across all 7 countries.

5gig currently has around 100,000 registered users, with the majority of content coming from concert goers, artists and the venues themselves. Entering France was big news for the company as part of their attempt to be the dominant force in non-English speaking Europe, conscious of course of how difficult it is for a Spanish startup to get to English speakers. Songkick, with it’s renown partners and investors including Y Combinator, Dan Porter, co-founder of Ticketweb, Stefan Glaenzer, ex-chairman at and Index Ventures, without a doubt gets a lot more press too.

Although 5gig is promising, particularly based of their small but relentless team, composed of Carlos Sanchez Valle and Alvaro Ortiz, a pretty well known personality in our back of the woods, along with a tight team of collaborators and board members, the challenge of entering into foreign and unfamiliar markets can’t be underestimated. The strategy so far has been to expand quickly into numerous markets by adapting to each country, localizing content, reaching agreements with local providers and signing on Country Managers based out of Spain. This is in contrast to most startups who choose to grow and mature in one market at a time. 5gig has plans to enter additional European markets in 2010.

With 200.000 euros from their first round (2008), an award of 125.000 euros in credit funding from ENISA, a Spanish public initiative to help technology startups, and an injection of another 125.000 euros from the current shareholders, nvivo has new energy and money to propel them forward, although they’re not as well funded as, perhaps, they would be if they were located in a different part of the world. Generally, this is how startup funding tends to work (or not) here in Spain.

When asked about the advantages and disadvantages of launching a startup in Spain, Valle responds, “If you add to the difficulties of entrepreneurship here in Spain, the little access to funding, we are fighting in this war with the worst weapons. A company like ours could have received 5 times more funding in the UK or US.”  Something I personally wonder about and hope to question in the months to come.

  • Anthony

    So what’s the market differential with 5gig? I’m a member of Lastfm, eventful and nvivo. Is it yet another portal to put up your gig listings? For me nvivo has a great range for gigs in Spain. Eventful is supercool for adding events and contacting others to go with you [I like their logged in landing page].

    Their forum is a bit empty, let’s go to concerts together and selling tickets? That it?

    I’m all up for music promos. I wish there’s an actual portal that helps musicians, has user generated listings that focus on the user and their contacts. Why not focus a lot more UGC and connecting bands to people. Now that would be something! Still, I’ll be watching what they do :D

    Great post Marina!

    • Carlos

      Hi Anthony,

      nvivo is the 5gig for Spain. We started here with that brand and when decided to go abroad we realised that we couldn’t use that name. (domains, trademarks, patents…). So we created a new brand for our model and sites out of Spain, that is, 5gig.

      Our strategy is to create ‘islands’ of localised live music listing sites. You use nvivo and you were not aware of any of our other sites for Germany, UK. That’s ok with us, live music is such a local thing.

      We follow Qype’s and Trovit’s model of i18n. Local sites with local domains instead of a global .com site.

      UGC is one of our goals, but some of our country sites are quite new and it’s difficult building strong communities fast, but we’re on it! ;)

      Which is your nick at @nvivo?



  • Ian Hogarth

    Hi Marina,

    Thanks for mentioning us in this post. Congratulations to the 5gig team, they clearly share our passion for live music.

    I just wanted to clarify one thing. Although Songkick started out focused on English speaking markets, we’ve received a lot of demand from users for for broader international concert coverage. In reaction to that we’ve launched data for Finland (e.g. , Sweden, Norway, Denmark, France, Germany, Spain, and The Netherlands in the past months. We’re expanding our coverage in South America and Asia at the moment. We’re aggregating 60+ data sources at the moment across all these territories.

    One of the best things about being a start-up based in Europe, is a passion for more than just English speaking territories. Skype,, Qype and others really executed against that and we want to be part of the next phase of European start-ups keeping that going.


  • Anthony

    Best of luck with it Ian despite my post I’m a musician and was signed up to a small label so a bit of a hard person to please.

    Here in Spain, it’s VERY hard to get any traction as a musician! I’d love to see you guys promoting new bands, and getting talent noticed.

    Looking forward to your portal going from strength to strength.

    • nillo86

      Hi Anthony,

      building community among artists is such a tough job. You only need to check out the artists’ offline community and ask yourself: is there anything to export to the online world?

      I am also a semi pro musician, and have also worked closely with Nvivo in business development tasks. Never before in my life have I realised how crucial the role of artists’ promotors can be. This is also corroborated by the slow growth services such as and have proved to show, greatly dependant on the promotors’ tasks.

      The same is true about commitment of fans: everything seems tremendously positive during a live gig, but it is almost impossible to get hold of fans thereafter.

      It is contradicting but true: artists are unsocial, the web is.

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