This week, Artify It, a site hoping to make the art-collecting scene more accessible, is launching to its first wave of beta users and with the backing of a pretty big Silicon Valley name: PayPal founder Peter Thiel.
What Artify does is provide an online space, or gallery, for artists to show their art, then users can browse that art and either buy it, or keep it in their home while paying a subscription fee. According to Artify founder Lorenzo Thione, the site is currently being tested in the Bay Area with about 3,000 users and 20 artists.
Thione said this opens up the art-collecting world to people who don’t necessarily have the money to make such a large commitment on purchasing one piece of art.
“You as the subscriber have this large collection at any time and can decide what pieces to have in your home,” Thione said.
Once a person is subscribing to the art—for a fee that Artify sets, with 60 percent of it going to the artist—other art aficionados, who either see it in person or online can still purchase the art. The collector who is subscribing to the piece has a chance to bid, but if it gets sold to someone else, the subscriber gets a 20 percent commission. This is a feature called Artify Scout.
Thione said Artify has the chance to disrupt the entire art world, a goal that helped bring in $800,000 in capital investments, including Thiel.
“Artify It is using technology to create an entirely new business model for one of the world’s most traditional industries: art,” said Thiel in a news release. “And it’s creating fresh opportunities not just for consumers, businesses and for artists, but for the entire art ecosystem.”
Thione said by the end of the month he hopes to have 10,000 users, 30 artists and 500 pieces of art on Artify.