An events start-up that has received funding from the taxpayer-backed Future Fund is on the verge of collapse just months after it bagged a $150m funding injection, according to reports today.
Pollen, which has sold travel experience with Justin Bieber and Duran Duran, has been searching for rescue cash but could now call in administrators as soon as Wednesday, Sky News reported today.
Goldman Sachs has previously been called in to help find a buyer, but hopes have reportedly faded in recent days. The firm has failed to pay staff and bosses have now lined up restructuring firm Kroll to oversee the prospective insolvency.
It comes as a Malta-based music festival accused Pollen of “serious failings” today and announced it would be forced to cancel its event over its failure to put proper plans in place.
“Due to accumulation of unresolved problems with Pollen, we no longer have confidence in their ability to deliver the rigorous high standards of safety and customer experience we demand of an event presented under our name,” the event organisers Drumcode said.
Pollen is facing potential bankruptcy despite raising $150m in a series C funding round in April, in a move it said would allow it to expand.
The collapse is likely to cause further headaches for the tax payer-backed Future Fund launched by then-chancellor Rishi Sunak during the pandemic. A director of the £1.1bn fund was reported to have admitted it has largely backed “zombie businesses” which have a “limited chance of growth to a sufficient scale for success”, in minutes obtained by a freedom of information request.
Pollen was contacted for comment.