This week Art Market Technology spoke with Mark Lurie, CEO of Lofty, the online marketplace which is using technology to simplify the sales process for private sellers of art and antiquities in the mid-market, what Lurie defines as $500-$50,000.
Lurie describes the problem that Lofty solves as more than simply providing an online sales platform:
A big problem in the fine art and antiques market is information – between buyers, sellers and experts. If you can use technology to facilitate information exchange, you can solve a lot of other problems. That’s really what we’re using technology to do – connecting people with each other and enabling communication about objects.
A frequent riposte from traditional auction houses to the rapidly growing online art marketplace is that online auctions can never replicate for high end buyers the value proposition offered by ‘bricks and mortar’ auction houses.
Auctionata is a Berlin-based startup that is setting out to prove them wrong. Founded in 2012 by Alexander Zacke, Auctionata’s approach is designed to reassure consignors and bidders that buying and selling high value artworks online is as good as – or even better – than the experience offered by traditional auction houses, either in their physical or online salesrooms.
Ensuring that the virtual user experience is as engaging as a traditional in-person auction is a key area of focus. With capacity for thousands of users, auctions are live-streamed in High Definition, broadcast from Auctionata’s own television studio. Artworks for sale can be viewed in high resolution, and real time information exchange on the bidding activities of participants gives the online bidder an ‘in the room’ auction experience. Continue reading
Digital technologies allow startup companies to provide services in the online art market that would have been uneconomical or simply impossible in an offline business model.
One example of this type of digital innovation is Vastari.com (@Vastariupdate). Launched online earlier this year, Vastari is seeking to create a marketplace where private collectors and museum exhibition curators around the world connect in order to negotiate exhibition loans. Continue reading