WSJ: “Online Art Collecting Finds Its Footing”

Can an online art auction website revolutionize the art market in the same way Net-a-Porter did for fashion retail? According to the Wall Street Journal online (“Online Art Collecting Finds Its Footing“) that’s the simple proposition that led a Harvard Business School professor to write a $50,000 cheque for the founders of Paddle8. That was just the beginning of the funding frenzy for Paddle8 which at the last count topped $10m. Alongside Paddle8, the article reviews Artsy and Artspace ($13m funding) and their respective roles in “making art as easy to buy online as a pair of shoes”. However, in spite of talk of celebrity backers and how they want to ‘democratize a 200-year old industry,’ a note of realism is sounded by Jacob Pabst, CEO of Artnet:

“There are questionable business plans, there’s a lot of money going into those companies, and sometimes I ask myself if it’s not too much.”