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Sign of change

Auctionata, a leading online market, shuts its doors

Art Market | The closure of the online start-up Auctionata, which was confirmed on 1 March 2017, questions the current situation of the online art market. Although nowadays this sector is known for reaching higher annual growth rates than expected, it has not yet been consolidated.

Le studio de ventes aux enchères de Auctionata © Photo courtesy Auctionata | Paddle8
Le studio de ventes aux enchères de Auctionata
© Photo courtesy Auctionata | Paddle8

Having filed a request to open insolvency proceedings on January 16 2017, Auctionata closed its doors as the result of specific recent events; including the accusation of serious trade violations by the international accounting firm KPMG and several strategic layoffs. Despite its fusion with Paddle8 (Auctionata AG then became Auctionata | Paddle8) in May 2016, and the replacement of co-founder and CEO Alexander Zacke by Thomas Hesse (former CEO of Sony Music Entertainment and member of the Executive Board of Bertelsmann) the company has not been able to recover. As of now, the main branch of Auctionata is offline while its two branches, Paddle8 and Value My Stuff (acquired in 2015) are currently owned by British and American buyers.

Auctionata and Paddle8 raised the total amount of $140 million throughout their activity : they counted with 14 investors, including the Arnault Group and Hearst Venture, that gave the start-up $95.65 million in 5 rounds, and 13 investors, including personalities such as Damien Hirst, David Zwirner and Jay Jopling who invested $44 million in Paddle8.

The bankruptcy of a leading online auction house such as Auctionata, which was founded in 2012 in Berlin, seems to predict a new phase for a sector whose exponential development has attracted all types of actors.

Vincent Kozsilovics
Publié le 17/04/2017
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Le studio de ventes aux enchères de Auctionata © Photo courtesy Auctionata | Paddle8

Le studio de ventes aux enchères de Auctionata
© Photo courtesy Auctionata | Paddle8

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