Berlin, 18 December 2012 – Following the success of the first auction on 7 December (total sales €350,000) the investors behind Auctionata AG agreed a further increase in capital with the decision falling in the night from 7 to 8 December 2012. With that, the German investors HV Holtzbrinck Ventures, e.ventures and the Raffay Group, together with the international investment funds Kite Ventures (New York) and Bright Capital Digital (Moscow) brought the total capital available to the company, started in Berlin in February 2012, to €13.2 million (US$17.5 m). This confirms the rumors which have already been circulating in various media.
This round of financing, unusual for the German market and for the early stage of the company, came against the backdrop of some dramatic moves in the online art market. Most recently, the market had reached a new peak with the dramatic takeover battle for the online art platform Artnet, as well as a 100 million dollar financing round for the US art market place 1stdibs. The list of investors who have entered the online art market in recent times reads like a who’s who of the international finance world. The market, in which until now only 5% of business has been conducted online, totals US$ 300 billion and is surely one of the most promising today.
Founder and CEO, Alexander Zacke: “We are delighted at the belief that our investors have placed in Auctionata. We are now in a position to realize our ambitious growth targets not only in terms of the online shop. From April 2013, we will be regularly broadcasting live auctions from our own television studio in the heart of Berlin to the entire world.”
“Through the trust of its international investors, Auctionata has taken a great step towards its goal of presenting high quality art, antiques and collectors’ items to a global online audience at reasonable prices.” concluded Dr. Jochen Gutbrod, Chairman of the Advisory Board of Auctionata, Chairman of the Willi Baumeister Foundation and long-serving Vice-Chairman of the Georg von Holtzbrinck publishing group.
The new valuation of the company performed in the course of the capital increase is primarily of benefit to the employees of Auctionata who share in the success of the company through their stock options. Auctionata AG is one of the few companies in Germany which provide all employees with the possibility of acquiring shares through a transparent Employee Stock Option Program.
Auctionata: An Overview
· Auctionata is the first online operator to cover the entire spectrum of an art and auction house. Auctionata’s vision is to open the international art market for consumers and make it available to everyone with the help of the internet
· Auctionata has the world’s largest network of experts with the number currently almost 250
· Auctionata has 70 permanent employees and runs offices in Berlin and New York
· So far, Auctionata has received over 16,000 requests for its professional valuation service
· A bid for a painting, book or antique cabinet is placed via Auctionata approximately every five minutes
· Auctionata experts have already valued over €22.5 million worth of items
· The first of its kind, Auctionata provides a comprehensive online service, with its continuously growing network of renowned experts covering all areas of specialty, from the appraisal and valuation of valuable items through an assessment of their authenticity to their sale and the arrangement of all associated logistics
· Auctionata’s new online shop has been live since the beginning of September. It contains 3,600 items from a range of areas of collector interest. By end of March 2013, the number of items on offer is predicted to amount to 10,000
· Auctionata was founded by Alexander Zacke and Georg Untersalmberger and went online in 2012 with its new business model