As UK startups are relentlessly paving the way for breakthroughs, we're putting the spotlight next on another innovative startup: Feral Horses. Providing and expanding contemporary art investment opportunities, this startup focuses on acquiring and trading shares of artwork that benefits both artists and owners.
Company Name: Feral Horses
Founder: Francesco Bellanca, Christian De Martin, Lise Arlot, Romano Oliveri
Based in: London, UK
In simple terms, what does your startup do?
Feral Horses is a crowd investment platform for art. People can buy shares of artworks just like they would in the stock market. The artworks are then rented out to businesses and privates and that creates a profit that is proportionally divided among the share-owners.
What problem/s do you seek to solve or help?
The art market is illiquid and opaque, making it impossible for investors with a small budget to start investing in art. This is what we seek to address, as we believe that art should be accessible and that it can be a tremendous alternative investment. We also acknowledge that considering art as an asset comes with great responsibilities.
We have designed our marketplace in a way that it:
- Allows anyone who can afford an art magazine to become an art investor
- Cuts down the complex logistical infrastructure
- Gives art investors with tight budgets the possibility to diversify their investment portfolio
- Empowers the artists who want to play an active role in the art investment industry
- Brings transparency and helps to fight against art forgery and art investment scams
- Makes sure artworks can travel endlessly instead of being stored in dark storages
- Contributes to a further harmonisation of art valuation and art pricing techniques
Are you funded and how?
Feral Horses is raising £200,000 through equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs.
What were you doing before you started Feral Horses?
I moved to London when I was 18 to study Events management at the University of Greenwich where I met the other co-founders of Feral Horses. We started working on the project when we were in our second year of Bachelor.
After consolidating my knowledge through a Masters degree in Big Data in Culture & Society at King’s College London and working hard to turn our idea into a reality, we launched Feral Horses in Spring last year.
The Feral Horses team
What inspired you to start Feral Horses?
I guess that just like many startups, what inspired us initially is the will to simply “make things better”. We are a team of art lovers with academic business backgrounds and we believe that the art market cannot resist the democratisation of information much longer. The fact that the industry is insanely opaque and secretive contributes to its inefficiency. I sincerely trust that there is a strong opportunity for quant-driven investments and that investors should be provided with transparent and unbiased information.
What are your goals for the next 5 years? Where do see yourself and Feral Horses?
The long-term vision is to become the go-to place to invest in art. In the next 5 years, we want to become a global art trading marketplace that evolves and can be also used by existing market players such as artists, galleries, and museums. And, of course, we want to keep on constantly pushing forward the conversation about art pricing and transparency.
Images courtesy of Feral Horses. To learn more, visit the Feral Horses website.
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