Disrupting the global auction market: Auctionata achieves online world record



Berlin-based online auction house Auctionata has completed the first half of the 2015 with a GMV of €35.7 million (US $39.7 million), which constitutes a 195 percent increase compared to the same period in the year before.

Two years after launching weekly livestream auctions, Auctionata is now Germany’s biggest auction house both in terms of revenue and size of staff. About 80 percent of the GMV was generated in the livestream auctions, while the online shop and private sales contributed the remaining percentage.

Auctionata also set a new world record for a work of art sold in an online auction. In June, a Chinese automaton clock sold for €3.37 million (US $3.83 million) to the well-known investor Liu Yiqian. This makes it the most expensive work of art ever to be sold in an online auction, and the highest auction result for any German auction house in 2015. Top sales were also achieved in the categories of Fine Art, Contemporary Art, Watches and Classic Cars.

Over the last six months, Auctionata has broadcast 123 auctions in which live bidding can now also be done via an iPhone app. The livestream technology offers sellers a global reach and enables mobile access to numerous auctions in diverse categories for buyers from all over the world. This unique customer experience has attracted more than 30,000 bidders from 140 countries. The number of active customers has increased to 146,000. Sellers have consigned objects worth €74 million (US $82 million) over the last six months, and in June, the company also realized its first time ever positive EBITDA of €2.1 million (US $2.3 million) due to occurring scaling effects.

Alexander Zacke, founder and CEO of Auctionata, said: “Since the start of our livestream auctions in May 2013, we have continuously increased our performance by 170 percent, so that we are now closing in towards our GMV target of €100 million (US$ 111 million) for this year. By offering an enhanced customer experience through our livestream auctions, we are driving the disruption of the traditional art market, and have left behind our brick and mortar competitors in Germany in less than two years. Now we are focusing on becoming the number one auction house in Continental Europe within the next 18 months. We have built a proven model and have been extremely fast in reaching the leadership position in Germany. With this same model, we can become leaders in any market, any category, and any geography.”

Auctionata recently closed a Series C financing round of €42 million (US $45 million) in which all existing and several new investors participated. The new investors include MCI Management, Hearst Ventures, Yuan Capital, and Groupe Arnault, controlling shareholder of French luxury group LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton.

Dr. Christian Nagel, partner at venture capital firm Earlybird, said: “Auctionata’s ambition to create 21st century auctions makes it a new powerhouse in today’s art market. Only two years after its start, the company is able to sell objects for more than €3 million (US $3.3 million). This is a clear proof of the strong competitive edge of the livestream format, and the trust in Auctionata’s brand. By successfully meeting 21st century expectations of customers across the globe, Auctionata is on the right track to launch an IPO in 2016.”

Core topics