Online art platform Vastari connects collectors with curators
When did you set up the business, and how did you think of it?
Vastari was founded in January 2012. CEO Bernadine Brocker had been managing a gallery in Mayfair where she was often approached by important collectors who wished to find out how they could communicate with curators to have their pieces included in important exhibitions.
She soon realised that the only way to do so was through a third party – usually an auction house or a dealer – who would have a vested interest in the piece. The website was launched a year later, in January 2013.
How are you funded?
From day one, Vastari was funded by a group of private collectors who had identified the problem, had a background in tech and media and understood Bernadine’s vision.
In April 2014, Vastari closed a significant second round from a private investment fund.
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve been given?
Know your customer, and test every idea with them before you build.
The worst thing is spending a lot of time building a new feature only to find that no one will use it.
And, make sure you have an amazing team.
What was the hardest thing about setting up your start-up?
The business model we are employing has been tried and tested, but the industry we are working with (the art world) is still very stuck in their ways of doing business.
New companies like Artsy, Paddle8, Auctionata and Artfinder are bringing the sale of art to the 21st century, but the relationship between collectors and museums still remained disjointed.
The only way to change people’s perceptions has been time. At the end of the day, people want to trust that you’ll be around for another 10 years.
How can people work with you?
We have strong partnerships with important players in the art world to help curators access more works of art and collectors access more museums, as well as providing our members a variety of benefits alongside their memberships.
Companies looking to work with Vastari or offer our members their services should get in touch with Francesca Polo on Francesca@vastari.com
Founded by Bernadine Brocker, Angela Roldan, Marta Olszewska, Francesca Polo and Micky Kumar, Vastari was launched in early 2013, and recently closed a significant second round of private investment.
They spoke to London24’s Hot London Start-ups about bringing the sale of art to the 21st century:
What is Vastari?
Vastari is an online platform that connects private collectors with museums for exhibition loans.
Who is it for?
Vastari is a two-sided marketplace; It is a tool for any art owner (from big collectors, to those who inherited a few pieces from family) who is interested in raising the profile of their works or sharing their pieces with the public.
It is also an important tool for museum curators and professionals who are preparing exhibitions, looking for exclusive and exciting pieces that have been held in private hands.
What does Vastari do?
It eliminates the need for middlemen when collectors and curators want to work together.
Through Vastari, collectors simply register their pieces to an ultra secure platform only accessible to verified and accredited museum curators.
Likewise,it saves curators time and resources when searching for new pieces as all the information is in the same place and the curator can rest assured that collectors have a predisposition to lend.
What’s so great about it?
Vastari is great because it allows art owners to share their art with curators who will research their collections and put the works into art historical context, and in the end to share with on the walls of the world’s best museums what would usually remain at home or in storage.
What does it cost?
The first five pieces you upload will always be free. If you want to upload more than five pieces, the service costs £499 for a one-year membership, £3000 for a ten-year membership or, for a limited time only, £5000 for a lifetime membership.
To find out more see Vastari