Online auction house Auctionata completed its 2014 season with recorded sales of €31.5 million ($41 million), a 163% increase from 2013 sales of €12 million ($16.5 million).
Auctionata’s global presence has expanded beyond its Berlin headquarters and regional offices in London and Zurich, with the addition of a New York base and new regional offices in Rome and Madrid. The company now has over 300 employees around the world.
“Last year’s growth is proof that our customers trust us to be as approachable as a local auction house with the capability to sell to a global audience,” says founder and CEO Alexander Zacke. “We found that there is a demand in the mid-market range for art and luxury collectibles that is not being met. Through our entirely digital valuation and auction platform, our business model is perfectly suited to service this need.”
Live stream auctions successfully drove business with 75% of sales
In 2014, Auctionata conducted a total of 113 live stream auctions that sold over 12,000 objects in various categories including the debut of classic cars broadcast from the new Berlin studio. Nearly 8,000 bidders from over 100 countries placed bids for a total bid value of €250 million ($325 million). Live stream auctions generated 75% of sales revenue, with €1.5 million ($1.9 million) coming from the new US auction broadcasts.
Nearly 20% of additional sales were generated by the Online Shop. Sales were geographically distributed across Europe (65%), Asia (17%), and the United States (13%). On average, Auctionata is able to sell 75% of all consigned goods within a six-month period.
Auctionata’s valuation service resulted in 56,000 requests in 2014
As the company continues to source items from around the world, Auctionata’s experts have reviewed a total number of 56,000 valuation requests, representing over 250,000 objects with a total estimate value of €200 million ($260 million). The company now has more than 130,000 customers worldwide. Last year, more than 4.5 million unique visitors viewed Auctionata’s website, and the number of new customer registrations increased by nearly 90% compared to the year before.
Global expansion and technological developments to continue in 2015
Auctionata’s full-service location in New York, led by Ben Harley, international managing director, and Joseph Stasko, chief operating officer North America, will expand its customer base in 2015, its auction business, and the Online Shop. Hartley comments: “With Auctionata in New York, we will continue to grow our relationships with US-based consignors and raise brand awareness in North America. The upcoming opening of the permanent studio and warehouse space in the heart of New York’s art scene will create more opportunities for more and larger auctions.”
Also in 2015, Auctionata is planning on expanding its presence within Europe as well as launching a third full-service location with a live stream studio in Hong Kong. “The Asian market and its customers have enormous potential and we feel that it is essential that we open a new location to meet the growing demand,” Zacke explains. “Strong customer relationships are one of the foundations of our business. Therefore we have to be present in all major markets to continue our success and grow.”
As Auctionata expands geographically, improvements within the website and digital platform will also continue to be a focus. “The infrastructure and functionality of our website and live stream broadcasts is what distinguishes us from other auction houses and e-commerce sites,” says founder and chief technology officer Georg Untersalmberger. “Our goal in 2015 is to create a seamless user experience across all devices, including mobile capabilities.”