Paddle8 has turned the auction world on its ear by skipping the rubrics of long-established houses like Christie’s and Sotheby’s and instead offering a streamlined, 24-hour online marketplace for buyers and sellers. It’s a 21st-century approach to collecting that, according to cofounder Alexander Gilkes, combines “the ease of Amazon, the quality of brick-and-mortar auction houses, and the elegance of Net-a-Porter.” Last October, a cash infusion of $34 million from major investors—including art-world heavyweight David Zwirner—proved that Gilkes’s formula is indeed giving traditional auction houses a run for their money.
Paddle8 serves more than 600,000 collectors in 90 countries.
For sellers, the company’s 8 percent commission—less than half the standard rate of traditional houses—is especially attractive.
Paddle8’s 2015 auction sales doubled over the previous year.
Damien Hirst (whose Ethidium Bromide Aqueous Solution is shown above) and other leading contemporary artists have partnered with Paddle8 to sell commissioned pieces.