Artfact gets $13M in capital, merges with Auctionzip



Artfact, a leading online live auction marketplace is merging with Auctionzip, one of the Web’s largest directories of live auction listings. Artfact also closed a deal for $13 million in growth capital from Boston-based Commonwealth Capital Ventures and Ascent Venture Partners. In addition to facilitating the merger, the funding will be used to expand product development, marketing, and sales efforts.

Combined, Artfact and Auctionzip provide over 16,000 estate auctioneers of all sizes worldwide a range of technology and marketing services including online live bidding, and integrated auction management software. Through their Web sites Auctionzip.com, Artfact.com, and Invaluable.com, the companies allow 2 million art, antiques, and collectible dealers and collectors unprecedented access to search over 160,000 estate auctions each year with a combined value of over $25 billion.

Each company will maintain its distinct brand, Web site, and office location in Allston, Mass. (Artfact), Bedford, Pa. (Auctionzip), and the Isle of Wight, U.K. (Invaluable).

In a press release, Adam Kirsch, Chairman and CEO of Artfact, said, “Auctionzip’s founders, Joe Koval and Steve Johnson, have built the only comprehensive auction listing service for the fragmented U.S. estate auctions industry. Together, Auctionzip and Artfact provide estate auctioneers and their dealer/collector bidders with the largest online marketplace dedicated entirely to the unique requirements of live auctions.”

Johnson will continue as Auctionzip’s President, and said: “Merging with Artfact is a logical step for Auctionzip now. Auctioneers listing on Auctionzip.com received over 200,000 absentee bids during the last year from the Auctionzip.com bidding community of over 1 million monthly unique users. In March 2010, Auctionzip will launch Auctionzip Live using Artfact’s leading live bidding technology and auction management solutions to become a true live bidding marketplace just like Artfact Live.”



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