Artland closes $1M seed for its social art marketplace

Danish startup Artland has closed $1M in seed funding for a social art marketplace app that aims to connect galleries and professional buyers. It’s also hoping to attract newcomers with an appetite to buy art but who don’t necessarily know how to go about learning about the market.

We covered the startup last fall. At the time the founders told us it had raised a small undisclosed amount of seed funding. It now says that the earlier raise was rather a friends, family and fools round; this is the first official seed funding.

Investors backing Artland for this seed include professional handball player, Mikkel Hansen; Olympic dressage champion Andreas Helgstrand; musician and songwriter Shaka Loveless; and Airhelp founders, Nicolas Michaelsen and Poul Oddershede.

The new funding will be used to accelerate growth of the 2016 founded startup — focusing on product refinements and adding resources for scaling operations so it can onboard more of its main target users: collectors and galleries.

At this point it says the Android and iOS apps have 18,000 registered users. It also has 75 gallery partners across the world.

The business model relies on taking a subscription fee from galleries in exchange for Artland offering them a channel to reach collectors. So growing an art-buying community will be key.

Users can create profiles, upload photos of their collections and connect with other art lovers and — hopefully also, from the galleries’ point of view — make a purchase or two. Artists can also use the app to showcase their work but all sales are conducted via the gallery users.

Artland names Charles Riva, Victor Benady and Rolando Jimenez as being among the collector users of its app at this stage, while gallery partners include Nils Stærk, Lyles & King and Seventeen.