The Latest Sound Investment? An Online Art Marketplace

Art world digital start-up Paddle8 secures $4MM in series A funding from major luxury and technology companies.

With so many art projects and establishments floundering in this economy, an optimist has to be willing to take good news wherever it can be found. For those who are a fan of Paddle8, the innovative new platform responsible for web-only exhibitions and projects curated by notable cultural figures (such as Marina Abramovic), “dossier” video and a variety of text — including interviews with artists, archival materials, a blog covering cultural happenings, and other highbrow resources — you can expect even more great content in the future.

Founder Collective, one of the most reputed early-stage venture capital funds, which has also helped make possible Makerbot, Milo, and Uber, has decided to try its hand in the art world through an interesting partnership with Paddle8. Rounding out Paddle8′s unlikely funding cabal is Mousse Partners, the private investment firm affiliated with a leading luxury goods company. The firm’s U.S. venture efforts are led by Ed Zysik with recent investments represented by Paperless Post and Warby Parker. According to a recent press release:

This combination of technology and luxury prowess gives Paddle8 the opportunity to further enhance its position as the leading destination for both new and seasoned collectors to access fine art works via a curated selection, insider opinions and a patented transaction platform that allows collectors and galleries to ship, insure and install works effortlessly.

With the support of these new investors, Paddle8 will bolster its technological tools and experience: For the collectors, Paddle8 will launch a new user interface focused on collector-to-collector engagement, dynamic editorial, and customized navigation features, allowing collectors to browse an extended offering of works from different eras and mediums. For the galleries, museums and art fairs, Paddle8 will roll out new tools and services, including a new point of sale transaction platform, private rooms and a set of mobile applications, helping these partners better service a global collector base remotely with improved ease.

While efficient platforms and concepts like these have existed in the tech world since its inception, news that an emerging art world power player is benefiting from this new medium (and the entrepreneurial spirit that accompanies it) is cause for celebration. Perhaps Paddle8′s bold moves (and recent financial security netting) will embolden other, more established art institutions to look outside their traditional realms to gather inspiration, as well as much needed resources.

For full information on Paddle8′s newest development, click here or visit their site for the full press pack.

Paddle8

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