Artfinder – the world’s first art B-Corp
Artfinder has not only has been on a swift growth trajectory over the past year but is also making its mark as a leading sustainable business. The company launched as an online marketplace for consumers to purchase art, direct from artists. It has over 450,000 global subscribers with 200,000+ pieces of art sold to date and has been quick to capitalise on the pace of change as consumer behaviour has shifted throughout the pandemic. Sales in Q3 2020 alone were up over 160% on the previous year and in 2020 they grew by over 110%.
At the heart of the business has been the desire to create a world where art benefits everyone. It is dedicated to doing whatever it takes to push the art world into a more sustainable future, where benefits are distributed fairly and it leaves a positive impact on the environment. This commitment sits at the heart of the business and in August 2019 it became the world’s first art company to certify as a B Corp.
B Corps use the power of business to address society’s greatest challenges, companies commit to meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. The impact assessment required to become a B Corp is a rigorous test of all areas of a business. Significantly, the certification means that the business has legally changed its purpose. It no longer exists simply to create profit for shareholders, but also to make art more affordable, accessible and a viable career for artists.
The company wouldn’t have achieved its B-Corp status without the crucial role that investors play in providing funding for growth and shaping how the company is run. In addition, it has been a contributing factor in the growth of the company in recent years.
David Mott, Founder Partner, Oxford Capital comments: “As a business, Artfinder has achieved remarkable growth over the last year but also significantly it is making an enormous impact from a social and environmental perspective. This is testament to how the EIS scheme can strengthen start-up businesses to create real change in their markets. We’re excited to see where the business goes next, particularly as the art & wall décor market is set to grow 9% annually over the next 5 years.”
In 2020, Artfinder produced its first B Corp annual impact report which highlighted specific initiatives it has undertaken. Significantly the business helped more artists make a living – in 2019, 73% of artists said Artfinder contributed to an increase in their income, up from 68% in 2018.
Most recently it has teamed up with climate action social enterprise Ecologi to plant a tree for every piece of artwork sold through the platform. It has planted 25,000 trees to date and in March will plant five trees for every piece of artwork sold to celebrate B-Corp month. But perhaps the biggest impact Artfinder has made over the last year has come from continuing to provide thousands of artists with the ability to earn a living at a time when galleries, shops and tourism were all but closed. As one of the few online marketplaces for professional artists, Artfinder provided a lifeline in a time of great uncertainty.