Artify It, a San Francisco-based start-up that is launching a new service that provides artists, businesses and consumers innovative tools to experience high-quality, contemporary art, has received $800k in angel funding.
Backers include Peter Thiel, Benjamin Ling and Quest Ventures.
Led by Lorenzo Thione, co-founder and chairman, Artify It uses utilizes technology and the social web to create a new business model around the discovery, experience and sale of original art. The company aims to facilitate access to a diverse selection of art through an online catalog that also acts as a social network for members to interact with the art community. In this way, artists gain exposure through virtual galleries and get a chance to earn immediate revenue by loaning out their collections to art purchasers of every level until their piece is sold, all along sharing in the subscription revenue.
The company, which is targeting additional investment goals for further growth and expansion, is currently working towards a public launch of its website in the near future (mid-May) focusing on the greater San Francisco bay area. It plans to expand to key markets such as Los Angeles, New York and others as soon as 2013.
As part of its initial offering, Artify It is introducing Artify Scout™, a feature that enables subscribers to act as curators and finders for works that might be sought for purchase by other visitors to the website, or by anyone seeing the works in person at the subscriber’s home or business. If a piece that is placed with a subscriber is bid on and sold, a sizable commission is earned, turning each subscriber into an art dealer, and creating another business model within Artify It.