The newest player is Artspace, which just launched with $1.2 million in funding. It’s the brainchild of Catherine Levene, who worked at the email list Daily Candy before it sold to Comcast for $125 million.
Levene hopes the site will be half educational space, half online gallery. The business will be a weekly private sale for members in the model of Gilt Groupe.
It’s a little tough to say who the target market will be. Artspace is partnering with big names like The Guggenheim, but says its going after folks who typically shop for art at retail stores like Home Depot and Crate and Barrel.
The recently launched Artsicle, out of Dogpatch labs, offers rentals on relatively unknown artists, making it an easier choice for first time buyers just dipping their toes in the market.
On the other side of the spectrum, Art.sy is going after the high end customers, bringing on Larry Gagosian as an advisor and scrapping its initial plans to pursue young customers.
Who’s got the best business model? It’s all in the eye of the beholder (investor).