Sweden-based auction aggregator Barnebys, already huge in Europe, will launch in the U.S. early 2016 Barnebys, the online search and valuation tool for artworks, antiques and collectibles that has taken Europe by storm, will officially launch in the United States in 2016 with an office in New York.
News-Antique.com - Nov 19,2015 - NEW YORK, N.Y. – Barnebys, the online search and valuation tool for artworks, antiques and collectibles that has taken Europe by storm, will officially launch in the United States with an office in New York City, soon after the turn of the year. Already, representatives from the company are in Manhattan, gearing up for the launch.
From their other offices in Stockholm and London, Barnebys has already revolutionized the auctioneering landscape, but not as an online-bidding platform in an already crowded space. Rather, it is an auction house aggregator. The company’s free, one-stop service allows potential bidders immediate access to items they desire at a host of major international auction houses as well as regional houses and specialist collections around the world, regardless of where and when the sale happens.
Users are given instant entree to virtually every auction item in the marketplace at any given time. They are also furnished – for free – historical data documenting an item's previous sale history. It's a concept that has caught on mightily in Europe since the firm's launch in 2011. On any given day, Barnebys curates more than 400,000 available objects from 1,000+ international auction houses and dealers.
Barnebys operates on a unique pay-per-click business model, generating its revenue from participating auction houses. That revenue is based on the amount of traffic Barnebys redirects to online auction catalogs. The firm enjoys a healthy and cooperative working relationship with international auction houses large and small, averaging around 20 new auction house sign-ups per month. It also sells banner ads on its website.
In the United States, top-tier auction houses such as Sotheby's, Christie's, Paddle 8, Phillips and Heritage have already signed on to become cooperative partners with Barnebys. Others are expected to follow suit, once the concept is more widely understood and the potential for increased revenue is explained. International users include Catawiki, Dorotheum, Tajan and Auctionata. Further global market expansion is planned for 2016.
Cracking the American market has not been the uphill climb that company co-founders Christopher Barnekow and Pontus Silfverstolpe – both successful Swedish businessmen long before Barnebys – had feared. “I'm impressed by how American auctioneers are open to new ways of marketing themselves,” Barnekow said. “They clearly see the value-add of what we're selling – a wave of bidders and buyers.”
Barnebys was Barnekow's brainchild; in fact, the company name is a twist on his own last name. “I was struggling to find a particular still-life painting online,” he explained, “and I was just very frustrated by the multiple sites I had to navigate, not to mention all the time it was taking. And I thought, ‘Why isn't there a tool or a centralized search engine that would incorporate the lots of many auction houses?’”
Barnekow was already an experienced entrepreneur, having founded the ad agency Smith International, where he worked for 12 years. He was also a founding partner of Rodeo Magazine, Sweden's most exclusive fashion publication; as well as the e-commerce site Got2get. Still, with