Published: May 12, 2016
NEW YORK CITY & BERLIN, GERMANY — Auctionata and Paddle8 announced on May 12 that they are joining forces to create a global leader in online art, collectibles and vintage luxury. The joint company will immediately become one of the top 10 auction houses worldwide outside of China and the fastest growing company in the sector. The firms said they share a vision of being the destination of choice for the Twenty-First Century collector as well as art dealers.
Auctionata has already established a presence in Europe as the leading German auction platform. In the United States, the Paddle8 online auction platform has strong brand recognition as a marketplace for art and luxury collectibles. With joint sales above $150 million and nearly 800,000 registered users, the united company will be a dominant player for art and luxury collectibles in the most important markets globally.
“Auctionata and Paddle8 combine complementary business models which will mutually benefit each other in their respective markets. Our ability to innovate at a faster pace and develop new technologies and services is a great opportunity to further increase growth. The reciprocal nature of our business, coupled with our shared desire to grow the culture of collecting in a transparent and efficient manner made this partnership a very easy decision,” said Alexander Zacke, chief executive officer (CEO) of Auctionata.
Together, the firms will grow the underserved global mid-market in this space. While legacy brick-and-mortar auction houses dominate the high-end of the collectibles market, online secondary marketplaces at the opposite end of the spectrum cannot provide transparency and authentication, the firm s contend. This leaves a gap where the middle market, for objects up to $500,000 is underserved. Both firms have independently pursued this market, and together they said they are poised to win and grow the sector.
“This merger allows us to allocate greater resources toward innovating at every step of the collecting process, from online valuation services to post-sale fulfillment, and to expand our current offerings in terms of both categories and sales channels,” said Aditya Julka, co-founder of Paddle8. “As a result, we’ll be able to provide the best customer experience and the most efficient and comprehensive platform in the middle market for buyers and sellers from every corner of the globe.”
The joint company will offer a more extensive and diversified inventory as Paddle8’s sales are oriented mostly toward contemporary art and design, while Auctionata specializes in vintage luxury. Paddle8 has a strong presence in timed auctions, private and charitable sales, and Auctionata’s livestream auction format plus online shop means that the two companies can now provide customers with a multitude of categories and sales formats. In addition, the united company’s presence and operational hubs in Europe and the United States will enable it to consolidate the market not only in terms of categories, but also across geographies.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The merger brings together an established leadership team with all co-founders remaining in strategic and operational roles integral to the company’s future growth. Alexander Zacke, previously CEO of Auctionata, will lead the global management team of the newly formed group. Both the Paddle8 and Auctionata brand names will continue on as the two companies fuse together.
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