We spoke with Jonas Almgren, CEO of Artfinder, a company that wants to help you own art you love. Jonas will be a panelist at our event ‘Stories from Start-ups in the Arts’, to be held on 1st October at 6.30pm at Google Campus. Read on to learn more about how Artfinder works.
Hi Jonas, tell us about Artfinder and your work.
I’m the CEO of Artfinder, a marketplace for affordable art, allowing artists to reach art buyers globally. Similarly to Airbnb and Etsy, we market our sellers and enable all transactions, but we do not keep any stock and we do not fulfill any orders.
What’s great about the Artfinder marketplace?
Previously, art buyers looking for authentic, handmade art had to go to small, local galleries with a limited selection and inflated prices, and artists had no way to reach a global audience. Our marketplace enable buyers to find affordable art they love, and artists to live from the art they produce.
Who buys from Artfinder?
Customers who want to add personality to their homes with affordable, unique art, and who aren’t happy with impersonal, mass produced posters and print-on-demand products.
How is Artfinder positioned against the competition?
We disrupt the market for mass produced wall décor, dominated by retailers such as Ikea and Pottery Barn, as people that previously thought handcrafted art was expensive and exclusive realise that they can buy truly unique, yet affordable, pieces with a real, lasting value.
What is your business model?
We are an online marketplace, and as such, we’re looking at other marketplaces, such as Airbnb and Etsy, for inspiration.
What type of skills do you need to develop your solutions/products?
We’re an online business, so we are always looking for software, design, marketing, and customer/partner relationship skills.
How did you choose and create your team?
As in any start-up, the team is the key. We’re looking for independent, self-driven people that are pragmatic and that can thrive in a fast paced, often fast changing (some would say chaotic), environment.
What are the top trends you see happening right now in the online businesses world?
Online businesses are still evolving very quickly, and new marketing and sales techniques are constantly being developed. It’s important to realise that we’re still just at the very beginning of online commerce, and even more so in the area of online marketplaces.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
To not fall in love with their business plan. Get out there, talk to prospects and customers, both before and after the business has been launched. Constantly test concepts, and make sure that you learn from every experience. Get smart, and adapt quickly.
Give us an idea for improving how we fund, make, share and enjoy art and culture?
Too much in the area of art funding has to do with events and venues. But the only direct way to fund artists is to buy their art. We need to focus more on selling art, and less on displaying it. More people should live with, and enjoy art every day, not just when they visit a museum or gallery.
How could the work you’ve done in your company be relevant to art promotion and enjoyment?
It’s about spreading the word that art is not expensive, it’s easy to buy, and it’s for everyone to enjoy.
Inspired? Hear Jonas talk further about his experience at Stories from Start-ups in the Arts.