ArtLifting, an Allston, MA-based online marketplace that sells the artwork of homeless, disabled and other disadvantaged individuals, secured $1.1m in seed funding.
Backers included Toms Shoes founder Blake Mycoskie, Eric Ries, Joanne Wilson, Diane Hessan, BOSS Syndicate, Jeremy Hinman, and SF-based urban impact accelerator Tumml.
The company intends to use the funds to continue scaling as a public benefit corporation and to conduct tests within its e-commerce and corporate sales channels.
Founded in 2013 by brother and sister team Liz and Spencer Powers and also led by Chief Operating Officer Kelly McKenna, ArtLifting is an online art marketplace for homeless, disabled, and other disadvantaged individuals. The website allows buyers to browse by artist, art type, or city and offers a variety of products from smartphone cases and greeting cards to framed prints and canvases. Prices range from, on the high end, $1,000 – $10,000 for original artwork, to $75 – $350 for fine art prints, to $35 smartphone cases.
In addition to selling through its updated e-commerce site, the company also sells directly to corporate offices.
Currently, the company represents 50 artists in eight cities.