Worthpoint growing antiques research services, locks $3.6M in equity investment

ATLANTA – Worthpoint raised a new equity investment round of $3.6 million to add staff and make a global run at growing its online antiques and collectibles valuation service. The boost, from existing and new angel investors, as well as principal partners from the U.K.’s Cheviot, will also be used to extend a line of credit to $1 million.

worthpoint_logo.jpgWorthpoint is an online resource offering valuation, consulting and research for art, antiques and collectibles. Heavily relying on prices gleaned from American antiques auction houses and its own GoAntiques.com, the bulk of the pricing results are data leased from eBay completed items listings. The staff of consultants is composed of antiques experts, collectively called Worthologists.

Growth will be focused on expanding the brand and data reach globally. Initial steps making Worthpoint more useful for a global market include integrating high volumes of international auction data to increase the number of items in its price guide database from 73 million to 100 million items. New features will include an item search option by country as well as currency conversion tools. Eventually the services may be expanded further to create fully localized European-based web sites serving niche clientele. The effort will create 12 new positions at the company’s Dublin, Ohio headquarters in product development and marketing.

“While we have reached profitability in our core business,” said Will Seippel, Founder and CEO of Worthpoint, “this investment enables us to make significant value additions that will ensure our position as the market-leading resource for collectible enthusiasts worldwide.”

The new funds will extend support for product additions already scheduled for 2011, including the development of community forums providing both free and paid members with access to opinions and debates regarding the most topical issues in the world of collecting and perfecting its iPhone and iPad applications.

However, most of the new funds will be used to launch globalization and publisher content integration efforts. The publisher content program involves partnerships with subject matter expert organizations that will contribute information complementary to Worthpoint’s Worthopedia Price Guide listings. Not only will this allow subscribers to accurately value items, but it will also enable them to acquire valuable history and background data, Seippel said.

-posted by Eric Bradley

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