Online auction houses Auctionata and Paddle8, who sell to what they call the “middle market,” have announced that they are planning to merge in order to expand their audience and extend their reach, Michael J. de la Merced of the New York Times reports.
The middle market they are referring to buys items that are too valuable to be put on eBay, but are generally less than $500,000. However, both art auctioneers have sold objects for much more, such as an eighteenth-century Chinese clock that was bought on Auctionata for over $3 million last year.
In 2015, their combined sales were around $140 million. Auctionata cofounder Alexander Zacke told ArtNews that “It makes sense to join forces as you close in on the summit. We saw that both companies were growing very quickly.” In the expanding online market place, the two startups ranked in fifth (Paddle8) and ninth (Auctionata) place, according to a survey of 672 art buyers who ranked online art platforms, which was compiled by the research firm Hiscox. Christie’s LIVE placed first.
After the merge, the new entity will have a combined user base of almost 800,000. Although the companies declined to disclose the terms of the deal, they confirmed that they will both retain their own branding and their own headquarters. However, the single domain name for their new entity has yet to be determined.