Songkick bags Silicon Valley investment

The venture capital firm behind investments in Apple, Google and YouTube has supported London tech business Songkick.

UK-based start-up Songkick has raised $10 million (£6.3 million) in its third round of fundraising through a deal with Sequoia Capital.

The East London technology business previously raised growth capital through transactions with Y Combinator and Index Ventures. The deal for Sequoia represents the first time that the Silicon Valley-headquartered investor has backed a UK start-up.

Founded by three friends, Ian Hogarth, Michelle You and Pete Smith in Hogarth’s parents’ attic in 2007, Songkick’s service alerts music fans to upcoming concerts that correspond with set preferences. Songkick, which also works as a smartphone app, additionally provides concert reviews, photos and videos.

Speaking on the company’s blog, the founders say, ‘Recently, we met Greg McAdoo from Sequoia Capital and really hit it off. Greg is a former CTO and CEO, with a ton of experience in helping founders turn their passion into enduring companies.

‘As one of the earliest start-ups to be based in East London, this is also really exciting because it’s Sequoia’s first investment in a UK-headquartered start-up – but hopefully not the last. Sequoia met Larry and Sergey [founders of Google] when they were just PhD students and saw how transformative Google could be.’

On the back of the investment round, Songkick is set to expand its London and San Francisco offices. Existing investors, including Index and Y Combinator, as well as angels Alex Zubillaga and Passion Capital’s Stefan Glaenzer, also topped up interests.

Songkick’s fundraisings started in 2007 with the securing of $15,000 in seed capital. Angel funding of $1 million followed in 2008, before a Series A round of $3.5 million later in 2008 and a top-up amount of $2 million in 2011.

Eric van der Kleij, CEO of Tech City Investment Organisation, adds, ‘Sequoia Capital’s $10 million investment in Songkick is absolutely fantastic news, not only for the team at Songkick, but also for the London and UK start-up community.

‘Securing funding from a top Silicon Valley VC firm is testament to the very high calibre team at Songkick, but also sends a clear signal that major international investors are increasingly recognising the UK and London’s ecosystem as a great place to headquarter high potential, venture-backed businesses.’

Further reading:

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

Related Topics

Tech start-ups