A revolutionary new art tech marketplace for investors and owners

  • LONDON, United Kingdom
  • /
  • May 02, 2017

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Marcelo Garcia Casil

Maecenas is giving investors the chance to own shares in a masterpiece by introducing them directly to owners and creating a trading market

Art investors, collectors and owners will be able to trade shares in fine art for the first time on a unique online marketplace that will shake up the $56billion industry.

Maecenas is a new platform that will match art owners with investors, creating a fair and open market, reducing costs and bringing transparency to a traditionally opaque world. It will allow any investor to have a fractional share of a masterpiece.

Its creators are using blockchain technology to create an open exchange where works of art valued at more than $1m can be traded in real time as liquid financial units.

Investors will be charged a fee of just 2% per transaction while owners pay 6% of the listed amount for their piece of art – this compares with auction house fees of up to 30%. Its founders believe the fine art market has been largely unchanged for more than 300 years and is ripe for disruption, with increasing interest in art as an alternative investment.

It will democratise access to the art market, allowing investors to own shares in a wide range of high-value pieces of art, creating a diverse portfolio which they can adjust whenever they want. Meanwhile, art owners, collectors and galleries will have much cheaper access to capital, allowing them to raise finance without losing ownership of their asset as they can only list up to 49% of its value.

Maecenas is currently running a crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs to raise additional finance for its launch, with a minimum target of £400,000, and is offering 12.4% of equity. It has already received £200,000 from a Swiss venture capital business, Polytech Investors. It has also attracted considerable interest from galleries and collectors who want to list pieces of art on the platform.

Maecenas https://www.maecenas.co/ is the brainchild of experts in financial technology and the art world who are bringing their skills together to create an innovative art-tech business. Its four guiding principles are:

  • Creating an open platform where owners and investors can meet directly
  • Giving peace of mind by guaranteeing provenance documentation for every work of art, protected by cryptography
  • Bringing transparency to the art market by listing professionally vetted works of art and providing historical price guides so they can be accurately benchmarked
  • Reducing costs by charging low fees to the platform’s users while simultaneously building and managing a liquid market, from which investors and owners can both benefit

It is targeting sophisticated investors who want to have art in their portfolio –  a category that includes 88% of family offices, 75% of high net worth and ultra-high net worth individuals and 64% of banks, according to recent research. Investors must put in a minimum investment of $5,000 to part-own a piece of art listed on the platform and pay an initial deposit of $50,000 to open an investor account.

Co-founder and CEO Marcelo Garcia Casil said:

“We want to create a fair and open marketplace where investors and art owners can meet without intermediaries. We are using technology to revolutionise the art finance market, reducing costs, introducing transparency and creating liquidity. We are creating a new way to invest in fine art. Our ambition is to make the art industry a better place for everyone.

“This is an industry which has been tainted by a history of fraud, money laundering and obscure practices. We want to democratise the fine art market by guaranteeing transparency and fairness. We will offer the most competitive fees in the market, giving every investor the chance to own a share of a masterpiece”.

About Maecenas:

Maecenas is a new art investment platform, which is using technology to address the key challenges of art investment. Using Blockchain technology, it will mirror the efficiency and liquidity of capital markets, with live market feeds and a primary and secondary market. Investors will have fractional ownership of works art, which can be traded in real time.

Only accredited investors, as defined by financial regulation laws, will be able to use the platform. Private owners, collectors and galleries can list assets once they have satisfied vetting procedures and completed the due diligence process. Documents guaranteeing provenance are stored securely and protected by cryptography to ensure they are impossible to falsify.

The Seedrs crowdfunding campaign runs until mid-June. Funds will be used to accelerate client acquisition and market growth. https://www.seedrs.com/maecenas

Maecenas has offices in London, Singapore and Geneva. Its senior leadership team includes:

Marcelo Garcia Casil, (pictured) Co-founder and CEO:  A financial technology expert with wide-ranging experience in designing and building large-scale enterprise-grade applications, primarily focused on investment banking and financial systems.

Miguel Neumann, Co-founder and COO: A business manager who has worked for more than 15 years on large-scale transactional platforms for major investment banks and has been involved in fine arts for more than 8 years.

Jerome Croisier, Chief Arts Officer: An independent art advisor and art historian, based in Switzerland, who has been involved in the art market for 20 years and whose research has been widely published.

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