(Michael Buckner / Getty Images)TheAudience, the entertainment-focused social media and digital content marketing company founded by Sean Parker, Ari Emanuel, and Oliver Luckett, is shutting down in the UK, sources have told Business Insider.
Sources close to the company said that all its UK staff were told they were being axed on Wednesday, and that they would not be receiving a final month's pay.
Liquidators visited the UK office in London on Tuesday, and the company is going into "administration", our sources said. In the UK, going into administration effectively means a company is being taken under management of a court-appointed administrator in order to pay off debts and ultimately wind down the company. The equivalent is bankruptcy in the US.
The company has two other offices: Its HQ in Los Angeles and in New York City.
According to its last full accounts filed in the UK with Companies House, theAudience posted a loss of £716,185 in the 12 months to December 31, 2013. The company generated £2.2 million in revenues and a gross profit of £1.6 million. However, it piled up "administrative expenses" totaling £2.2 million.
Mike Drath, COO & CFO of theAudience, provided Business Insider with this statement: "Yesterday, we made the very difficult decision to wind down our UK business. This decision was made based on unique business challenges in that specific market. theAudience’s business model in the UK has always been quite different and wholly separate from that of our U.S. operations and will have no impact on our domestic business.”
TheAudience's three co-founders were described by TechCrunch in 2012 as "the ideal team to help you navigate the intersection of technology, media and celebrity." Parker is best known as the co-founder of Napster and the first president of Facebook. Emanuel is a well-regarded Hollywood talent agent. And Luckett co-founded social media start-up DigiSynd, which was acquired by Disney, where he later went on to become a senior vice president.
Luckett is the CEO of the company, while Emanuel and Parker are founding investors and are not involved in the day-to-day running of the company.
The company raised $20 million in funding since it was founded in 2011, according to CrunchBase.
TheAudience counts major brands including McDonald's, Paramount, Universal, American Express, and Target among its clients, according to its website.
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