NEW YORK — Artsy, a web platform for discovering and collecting art, has raised a $50 million Series D investment round led by NY-based Avenir Growth Capital.
Other investors include L Catterton, Thrive Capital, Shumway Capital and leaders in art, media, and technology, including Larry Gagosian (founder of Gagosian Gallery), Joe Gebbia (Airbnb co-founder), members of the Rockefeller and Acquavella families, Greg Maffei (Liberty Media), Dasha Zhukova (Artsy co-founder, founder of Garage Museum of Contemporary Art), current board members Wendi Murdoch (Artsy co-founder and film producer) and Sky Dayton (Earthlink, Boingo), and new board members Rich Barton (Expedia, Glassdoor, Zillow) and Bob Pittman (MTV co-founder, iHeartMedia CEO). Andrew Sugrue (co-founder of Avenir Growth Capital) also joined the board as part of the round.
Since launching in 2012, Artsy has created the world’s leading online platform for discovering and collecting art. Artsy partners with top international galleries, auction houses, and art fairs to create the largest central marketplace for art, bolstered by a robust editorial platform and tools for art education and discovery. Artsy’s technology efficiently connects supply and demand on a global scale, facilitating over $20 million of sales per month for its 1,800+ gallery partners in 90+ countries, with an average distance of over 3,000 miles between buyers and sellers.
Artsy’s audience has grown to more than two million unique visitors per month, and Artsy said its magazine is now the world’s most-read online art publication.
Artsy plans to use the new capital to continue investing in the platform and to accelerate the growth of its newest business unit, auctions. In 2016, the company introduced a platform for live auctions and partners with the world’s leading global and regional auction houses, including Christie’s, Sotheby’s, Phillips, and Heritage. These partnerships give Artsy’s global collector base access to bid in top international salesrooms in real time. Artsy is on track to increase the number of auctions hosted on the platform by 4X year-over-year in 2017, and as of the end of this past quarter, has driven 900+% year-over-year growth in bidding activity, delivering bids on approximately one-third of the lots in its partners’ live auctions and winning over 8% of those lots.
“We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Avenir. This is the third time that Andrew has invested in Artsy and we’ve loved working with someone so intelligent, open, and passionate about our mission. Over the years he’s built bottom up financial models to understand the complexities of the art market and how Artsy has evolved its business to work with rather than against the art industry,” said Carter Cleveland, Artsy’s founder and CEO. “At the same time, Andrew has also been able to step back and see the ten year vision for how Artsy will expand the art market’s vasculature to bring blood flow to a much larger and more diverse ecosystem of artists, galleries, auction houses, and museums.”