Quick facts

Founders: Scott Phillips,  Marcos Steverlynck

Founded: 2011

Location: Runway East Shoreditch

Website: View here

Pitch Rise Art to us in one sentence.

Rise Art is a curated online gallery. Our experts scour the globe looking for great art from extraordinary artists.

How did you get your idea or concept for the business?

My wife Helene is an artist in her spare time and has a huge interest in it, and she started to take me to degree shows and exhibitions a lot.

 

I began to really fall for art and wanted to discover more and buy it, and I started to, but I realised that for most people there were a lot of barriers to do that. We wanted to change that, revolutionise it even. We work with curators around the world to help find great artists.  We help them reach new markets and get their work seen by new audiences, and we give people a way to discover amazing art from anywhere.

What was your journey like to get where you are?

I think we were a bit naive when we started – I’m not sure I would have the nerve to start a company now if I fully appreciated how hard it could be. We persevered through a lot of tough times, but I have loved the challenges, working with and building the team and building assets that have made a real impact on how the industry works. We have a clear mission and goal for where we want to go, and I think we have the passion and drive to get there.

When it’s all over, how do you want to be remembered?

We want to be remembered as the online gallery that gives anyone, anywhere the chance to discover and buy really incredible art. We want to curate a roster of the best talent we can find and help launch their careers.

Where do you see your industry going?

It’s clear that the traditional gallery model is broken. More gallerists are closing their spaces or relying solely on art fairs to conduct their business. As more collectors become comfortable with buying art online, the shift to online sales will accelerate. Right now, online art sales are growing at 15% annually. We see this continuing to grow as more artists look to expand their collector base and take control of their practice. 

What would you do in the event of a zombie apocalypse?

I’d go home, do a big shop, batten down the hatches, download as many movies as I could, dust off some games including Ticket To Ride and Settlers of Catan, and settle in for the ride. 

What made you choose your current location?

The convenience of the location, community and flexibility were all considerations, and the cafe downstairs was a welcome attraction. 

What is unique about your business?

We are building an art tech platform that’s really highly curated, while helping our artists’ careers by making sales.

If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?

Listen to your customers. They tend to know more about your business than you do. 

Which company (other than your own) do you admire and why?

Recently, I’ve become a big fan of Berry Bros & Rudd, the wine business. I think they do a great job of making wine a fun experience for new buyers and presenting a great online and retail experience. Pop into their shop on Pall Mall and you’ll be in for a treat. A must for anyone even curious about wine and surprisingly affordable. 

Who is/was your first client?

Our first client was the mother of the first artist we put on the platform. She was so proud of her daughter, she bought her first piece available through the site. I was really overwhelmed that we could have that impact at such an early stage.

If your company was a genre of music/artist what would it be?

Bastille VS. Tame Impala: Inclusive, clever, and with a bit of edge to it.

In my spare time I like to…

Pitch our current crowdfunding campaign – we just closed a new round of funding and are now opening it up to our fans, customers and supporters. I love the support we are getting from our community, and I can’t help but promote it non stop: www.riseart.com/invest.

What is your favourite quote?

Don’t wait for inspiration, it comes while one is working. Henri Matisse

Visit Rise Art’s Crowdcube page here.

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