When the Artspotter app and site first appeared last year we noted it was a more of an art map that lets you discover and publish art around you, whether it be galleries, street art, you name it. It was billed as a sort of art discovery app for the iPhone [iTunes link]. But now it’s evolving in a more social direction and this can only be a good thing. Indeed, we might even go so far as to say that it could be the ‘Foursquare for art lovers’. The problems they hope to solve for users is allowing them to find more art outside of the obvious museums and galleries. The eventual business model? Think Google Analytics for cultural venues. But it’s early days yet – right now they are product-focused on making an app art lovers will, well, love.
Prior to the new iteration Artspotter was about discovery with some social interaction. The new focus is about discovering art through the people and places you follow. That’s the social pivot I was hoping Artspotter would make, and they’ve done it.
It’s now all about what hat’s happening now in realtime, and around you. It’s more social aspect means it’s therefore more personalised. In addition, the new iPhone app is blisteringly fast compared to the old one make ‘art spotting’ much more fun.
There’s a activity feed, nice map integration, but the big deal is the Spot button. This is automatically tags your location when you want to ‘spot’ a gallery, venue or street art. You can also say you are at a venue not just at a specific exhibition. So far they have 10,000 venues in over 40 countries.
In terms of funding, the small team lead by passionate art lover and fonder Raphaelle Heaf has had a convertible note from the Ignite 100 accelerator but is now in the process of raising a Series A funding round.
Heaf tell me she wants to build a “massive platform for a connected art world.”
“It’s not just about what’s going on but how everyone is moving around it, how the dynamics of the art world work and how that data can inform users of even more exciting discoveries.
“The art world is naturally a cool, exciting place to be, we just want to use art to bring “social” back to the real world,” she says.
On this showing, art lovers are likely to warm to the app, and it’s clear that there is real no-one doing what Artspotter does right now.