Art is usually considered the playground of the rich and fabulous. Not all can understand art and most definitely can afford the luxury. On the other side of the proverbial coin, only the crème -de la-crème of the artists are known and revered, with the less famous shying away in the background. One Indian startup is attempting to change this.

ArtZolo is an online marketplace to discover and own, affordable authentic art, which includes paintings and uniquely crafted products. It allows emerging and established artists to exhibit, promote and sell their works directly to art aficionados. The startup wants to build in transparency in the arts business. It makes quality craftsmanship accessible to art lovers, while providing a platform to creators to reach out to buyers.

“ArtZolo aims to usher in a new era of empowerment for the creators of beautiful works with the support of the Internet so that they can focus solely on the creation process and not worry about the commercial aspects of selling art,” said Vishal Singhal, Founder, Singhal Labs, the parent company of ArtZolo.

The idea was born in October 2013 but was brought to life in January 2014. The plan initially was to become a platform for artists to exhibit their paintings, but it then pivoted to a marketplace representing arts and crafts.

How does it work?
The startup has a seller and buyer community on its platform. Artists register and upload their work with it. They have an option to enter into licensing the images for art reproductions and prints.

“The buyer has all the relevant details along with the option to preview the artworks in their spaces that they would eventually want to keep,” explained Singhal.

The art firm makes commission on sales. It also gives the artist a license fee on sale from art prints.

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ArtZolo features three main sections: Shop original art, Shop high quality archival art prints, and Shop Indian handicrafts. It provides the buyer an Authenticity Certificate signed by the artist with every painting and art print.

It also sells a host of art reproductions and prints of popular and highly-acclaimed works.

Looking for funding
ArtZolo has bootstrapped so far, but is looking to raise seed money. “We have started talking to various investors and are aiming to secure US$500,000 to US$750,000, shared Singhal.

It has just relaunched its website with a new look and features, and currently serves customers in India, US and UK.

The startup is eight-member strong and is currently incubated at the SIDBI Innovation and Incubation Centre at IIT Kanpur. The team is in the process of opening a new office in Mumbai soon.