David Frankel is leading a group of investors to back New York-based startup Paddle8, the online art market. Founder Collective is joining the round, as is Mousse Partners. Frankel will join Paddle8’s board.
NEW YORK, Feb. 9, 2012 — Founder Collective, one of the most reputed early-stage venture capital funds, with previous successful bets on the likes of Makerbot, Milo and Uber, now turns its attention to online art market Paddle8. The investment is led by David Frankel who joins the board of Paddle8. Joining Paddle8’s financing round is Mousse Partners, the private investment firm affiliated with a leading luxury goods company. The firm’s U.S. venture efforts are led by Ed Zysik with recent investments represented by Warby Parker. This combination of technology and luxury prowess supports Paddle8’s position as the leading destination for both new and seasoned collectors to access fine art works via a curated selection, insider opinions and a patented transaction platform that allows collectors and galleries to ship, insure and install works effortlessly.
Since its inception in May 2011, Paddle8 has formed partnerships with the world’s leading museums, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), over 200 galleries, including Gagosian and David Zwirner, and art fairs such as NADA, in addition to prominent brands affiliated with high net worth communities, including NetJets, Edmiston and Krug. Paddle8’s traffic has increased to up to 100,000 views per day, and over 2,000 carefully filtered high-net-worth individuals from over 150 countries now join its private community every month.
With this support, Paddle8 will bolster its technological tools and experience: For collectors, Paddle8 will launch a new user interface focused on collector-to-collector engagement, dynamic editorial and customized navigation features, allowing collectors to browse an extended offering of works from different eras and mediums. For galleries, museums and art fairs, Paddle8 will roll out new tools and services, including a new point of sale transaction platform, private rooms and a set of mobile applications.
Paddle8’s management team is led by co-founders Alexander Gilkes (LVMH and Phillips de Pury) and Aditya Julka (serial entrepreneur and HBS Baker Scholar), Managing Director Osman Khan (Perella Weinberg and HBS) and Managing Editor Andrea Hill. Says, Julka, “Paddle8 has a great deal to gain from these new partners as we evolve our business to focus more on the tools offered to galleries and luxury experience provided to collectors.”
Paddle8 is represented by Robert Scott of Hand Baldachin & Amburgey LLP.