Sunday, January 11, 2015

Art auctions

From Art Law Journal:
Paddle8 is a virtual auction house, backed by the owners and technology investors behind Uber, Pinterest and Vimeo. The company is focused on fine art, holding two types of auctions: benefit auctions, which are held through collaborations with non-profits and major museums, and biweekly themed auctions. 

In the first half of 2014, total sales reached $17.8 million, a 400 percent increase over the same period in 2013. The company has received $17 million from Investors. Not nearly as large as the major auction houses, founder Alexander Gilkes isn’t worried, claiming that his company’s “focus is on the whole middle market, . . . the $100,000 range.” although he did qualify the statement saying, “we had a Jeff Koons egg that started at $500 and went to $900,000.” 

With Paddle8’s success, the major auction houses are ramping up their online business. In 2014, Sotheby’s inked a deal with eBay to stream its auctions online and Christie’s, the world’s largest auction house, putting additional marketing efforts into its $50 million media platform. In the first six months of 2014, 27 percent of Christie’s online buyers were new to the auction house.