Online art-auction service Paddle8 announced today that it has raised $34 million in Series C funding, the third round of investments raised during the early stages of a company. With the new round of investments, Paddle8 has now raised a total of $44 million in outside funding.
This round’s new investors are art dealer David Zwirner, artist and investor Rolf Sachs, Working Title Films co-chairman Eric Fellner, and Sony Music Entertainment CEO International and chairman Edgar Berger. People who had invested in the first two rounds of funding, notable among them Damien Hirst and White Cube founder Jay Jopling, also contributed in this third wave.
Paddle8 will use this new influx of money to upgrade its engineering team. In particular, a release stated that the money raised will go toward improving the bidding functionality on its site. Citing steady increases in Internet traffic and bidding, the release explained that Paddle8 will now turn its attention to the site’s mobile version.
In a statement, Zwirner said that he invested in Paddle8 because he was intrigued by the company’s digital prospects. “We are truly interested in how Paddle8 uses technology to bring innovation in the art world—which has historically been resistant to change—through smart digital platforms,” he said. “Paddle8 is a solid brand that has already established itself as a trusted source within the art community. I am impressed by its founders’ creativity and analytical abilities, and they certainly know their business. We look forward to partnering with them and playing a role in their continued growth and success.”
Osman Khan, a co-founder of Paddle8, explained in a statement that the company’s mission was to make art more available, and that the new investment will do just this. “Paddle8 was founded to fill an existing gap in the market for an accessible, trusted and well-designed online marketplace for collectors to buy and sell art and high-end luxury collectibles,” Khan said. “For us, it wasn’t only about making the buying and selling process easier, it was about democratizing art and innovating in an industry that seemed resistant to change. With this investment, we’ll be able to not only make the Paddle8 experience even more seamless, but also bring access to art and luxury collectibles to more people both within the U.S. and around the globe.”