ARTINFO says online art wars are heating up as Paddle8 secures $4 million from technology and luxury investors in its first significant round of venture capital fundraising. The seed money will keep Paddle8 competitive in an expanding field of e-commerce initiatives that includes VIP, the world's first online art fair, and Art.sy, the site backed by Dasha Zhukova and Larry Gagosian.
Paddle8's traffic has increased to up to 100,000 views per day and, according to the company, over 2000 carefully screened individuals join its private member community every month. Co-founder Alexander Gilkes told ARTINFO “Over the next few months we'll roll out an ambitious pipeline of new developments including a new app and increased editorial content.”
The new developments will build on Paddle8's core strategy of producing guest-curated exhibitions online with works for sale at major galleries and a recent move into the world of art fairs. Partnerships with NADA and Art Los Angeles Contemporary allow the fairs to utilize the web, adding web-based exhibitor presentations and transactions to the mix, along with a fair preview.
Image: Paddle8 founders Alexander Gilkes and Aditya Julka