Bloomberg reports that art-based startups are expected to raise nearly $145m in seed capital this year:
ArtBinder Inc., whose iPad application is used by more than 300 galleries worldwide, secured $3.17 million in funding from a group led by Index Ventures, the San Francisco and Europe-based company said today in a statement. Black, the chief executive officer of private-equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC, and Bruce Gibney, an early PayPal backer, also invested.
Startups in the fine arts are expected to raise $144.6 million in 2014, a 14 percent increase from last year and the second straight gain for the industry, according to data compiled by Seattle-based research company PitchBook Data Inc. Patreon Inc., whose website links patrons with emerging artists to support, gathered $15 million from backers led by Index Ventures last month and Artsy Inc., which sells art online and through mobile applications, raised $18.5 million in April.
The market “is incredibly antiquated and full of friction whether you’re buying or selling,” Index Ventures co-founder Neil Rimer said in a phone interview from Geneva, where Index Ventures has an office. “We’ve been interested in the art market as a business opportunity for quite a while given its size and the fact that it’s still largely done in a very old-fashioned way.”
Apollo’s Black Finances App as Art Startups Target Market (Businessweek)