A Swiss music fintech company has acquired Liverpool music publisher Sentric in a deal that will see 100 new jobs created in the city. Tony McDonough reports
A Liverpool music publisher that has helped more than 200,000 artists and songwriters collect their royalties has been sold to a Swiss company.
Sentric Music is an £19m turnover business which was established in Liverpool in 2006. It has been bought by Swiss music fintech business Utopia Music. Utopia will now set up an engineering hub in Liverpool and hire 100 new engineers over the course of 2022.
The deal sees an exit for capital investor BGF which has invested a total of £8.5m into Sentric since 2017. It ploughed an initial £3m into the south Liverpool-based firm and followed this up with a further £5.5m.
Sentric’s single online platform offers artists and songwriters a simple way to collect their royalties from more than 200 territories across the world. BGF’s backing allowed Sentric to make several strategic acquisitions and establish itself in more music markets than any of its competitors.
During BGF’s investment period, revenue has grown more than fivefold and artist numbers have tripled. In its most recent filed accounts, for the year to December 31 20202, Sentric reported a 21% increase in turnover to £18.9m with pre-tax profits almost doubling to £395,000.
The value of the latest acquisition has not been disclosed. Sentric will now form Utopia Music’s new royalty management Services business. Sentric chief executive Chris Meehan, will take the role of vice president at the newly formed venture. He will continue to service the existing customer base.
The business will help creators more accurately allocate revenues by “super-charging” Sentric and its RightsApp platform with new technology provided by the Utopia platform. This will also allow Utopia Music to set up an engineering hub in Liverpool and hire 100 new engineers during 2022.
Chris Meehan said: “Technology has presented challenges and opportunities in equal measure for the music publishing industry. As a team, we have been uniquely equipped to address both. BGF recognised the opportunity and has been the perfect partner to support our growth to date.
“Sentric and Utopia have the same long-term vision for the music industry. Both companies have the same passion for unlocking the true value of music, and helping creators reach their full potential.
“By joining Utopia in the global roll-out of our services, we will reach our goal faster as a unified front, providing more value to both new and existing clients.”
Neil Inskip, head of BGF in the North West, added: “Sentric is one of the best examples of businesses in our region to be genuinely driving disruption while also using tech for good. It’s been a pleasure to support Chris and his team over the past five years.”
And Roberto Neri, chief operating officer at Utopia, also said: “Led by Chris, this business unit will be adding additional value to our already comprehensive and global consumption database, delivering further transparency and faster royalty payouts to songwriters, publishers and collection societies.”