Artspace is an online marketplace for contemporary art. The art company is based in New York City, New York and was launched in 2011.
The site in 2013 had over $100 million in art for sale on its marketplace and had received investment from Accelerator Ventures and Metamorphic Ventures. The company co-founder and CEO, Catherine Levene, was rated as one of the top 10 female CEO's to watch in 2011 by the Huffington Post.
Catherine Levene was the founder of Artspace in early 2011. She stated in an interview in 2011 that she felt e-commerce art marketplaces could become the norm for people interested in buying art. She also stated at the time, that it could result in a similar market shift for buying art, that took place with clothing in the late 1990s.
At the time of Artspace's launch, it was stated that the company was one of the first major efforts to commercialize the art marketplace, making art accessible to everyone. Before the launch of Artspace, the majority of the art industry and the sales that took place, were made in person, often in galleries and transactions were rarely completed online. Another obstacle Artspace had to overcome, was that viewing art before purchasing it was a must within the art world at the time. The launch of Artspace challenged both of these common viewpoints in the art industry. During an interview with Business Insider, Levene spoke about how she felt large auction houses, such as Sotheby's had missed an opportunity to open online marketplaces for art. Shortly after the interviews in 2011, Levene was voted by Huffington Post as one of the top 10 female CEO's to watch.
Within the first year of the company's existence, Artspace received $1.2 million in investment as an early stage startup. Artspace's products were included in the revolutionary idea STORY, which was developed by Rachel Shechtman later that year. The STORY store in New York City, would contain art from Artspace, along with products from other startups.
The company received two rounds of capital investments, beginning in 2012. A Series A funding round in early 2012 secured $2.5 million for the company, with investors including Accelerator Ventures and Metamorphic Ventures. In early 2013, the company secured a venture capital investment of $8.5 million from Canaan Partners. In 2015, their most recent capital injection came when they received a $2.25 million grant from The Kresge Foundation.
Artspace is an e-commerce platform, which performs more like an online marketplace. The online service began in 2011 with an inventory of art, with a total estimated value of $7–8 million. By 2013, this figure had extended to more than $100 million in estimated art value on the website. The firm is based in New York City and at the time of launch provided contemporary pieces for $200 to $10,000. However this value has since changed to include more valuable pieces.
Artspace is quoted to have over 2,000 active artists from 400 galleries publishing works through its marketplace. The galleries and cultural institutions cover 30 countries and include The Guggenheim, The Whitney Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and the Serpentine Galleries. Work on the website has been known to come from artists such as Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg and Yayoi Kusama.
The website and marketplace is aimed at making art more accessible, to those who know little about art, or geographically struggle to reach areas that are abundant with art galleries. In 2013 during an interview, it was stated that the website didn't use any form of advanced imagery to display the works of art, instead dealing with jpeg images. Catherine Levene of Artspace stated, “Paying that huge sum without seeing the art can be scary for some people, but we’ve seen in the last ten years that there is an explosion of sales being made by simply sending jpegs.” In a 2014 report by Hiscox, it stated that the online art market was valued at around $1 billion.