BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Invaluable, the world’s leading online marketplace for fine art, antiques and collectibles, today announced the appointment of William F. Ruprecht, former president, chief executive officer and chairman of the board at Sotheby’s, as chairman and the inaugural member of Invaluable’s advisory board.
With more than 35 years of expertise in the world of fine art and collecting, Ruprecht brings deep industry knowledge and important relationships to Invaluable, where he will work with the leadership team to expand the advisory board and further accelerate business growth.
“Bill’s unrivalled depth of knowledge and experience gained during a lifetime in the auction industry, coupled with Invaluable’s innovation and strength in technology, offers a powerful combination,” said Rob Weisberg, Invaluable CEO. “We felt it was critical to start with someone of Bill’s stature in the art world to help us establish and deepen relationships among art and technology industry insiders. Bill, and the advisory board he ultimately will lead, will help propel Invaluable’s growth, and I couldn’t be more pleased to welcome him to the team.”
Invaluable currently partners with more than 4,000 auction houses, galleries and dealers in its global marketplace, including more than half of the auction houses featured in the Art + Auction Top 250. Its cutting-edge technology powers hundreds of thousands of transactions each year, helping sellers drive new revenue and expand their reach to new clients around the world.
“I’m astounded by the power and scale of the Invaluable marketplace,” said Ruprecht. “Invaluable is not changing the way consumers experience, engage with and purchase art. They’ve changed it. This is a company located outside of New York and London that snuck up on the art world and changed the rules of the game. It’s exciting and something I want to be part of.”
Invaluable saw record growth in 2015, with a 60 percent year-over-year increase in auction revenue over the year prior. The company introduced 575 new auction houses to the marketplace in 2015 and offered online bidding for 17,000 live auctions globally, all while maintaining high-profile partnerships with iconic brands like Sotheby’s.
Despite reports of a chill in the art market in 2016, Invaluable is continuing to see high rates of growth. In the first half of 2016, auction revenue on Invaluable increased by 42 percent YoY, and new buyers to the marketplace increased 25 percent over the same time period in 2015. Fine art is currently the fastest-growing category on the marketplace, with sales growing 50 percent in the first half of 2016 over the prior year. Year to date, Invaluable has already welcomed more than 500 new sellers to the marketplace, including nearly 30 auction houses that were included in the Art + Auction Top 250.
“The way that people buy art has unquestionably changed,” said Weisberg. “Auction houses, galleries and dealers are seeking new sources of demand by extending their reach to online buyers, which is what has driven the massive 24 percent growth in the overall online art market in 2015 as reported by The Hiscox Online Art Trade Report 2016.”
For more information on Invaluable, visit www.invaluable.com.
Invaluable is the world’s leading online marketplace for buying fine art, antiques and collectibles. Working with more than 4,000 of the world’s premier auction houses, dealers and galleries, Invaluable helps buyers from nearly 200 countries connect with the things they love. With best-in-class online bidding technology, along with a fixed-price retail platform, Invaluable provides sellers with e-commerce and marketing solutions, as well as auction management software. Recently called “one of the fastest growing e-commerce sites in the art world” by Blouin ArtInfo, Invaluable has also been recognized by Deloitte’s 2015 Technology Fast 500™ and the 2015 and 2016 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® program. Headquartered in Boston, Invaluable also has offices in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Belgium and Australia. For more information, visit www.invaluable.com or follow us on Twitter at @InvaluableLive.
About Bill Ruprecht
Bill Ruprecht joined Sotheby’s in 1980, was appointed president and chief executive officer in 2000 and was elected chairman of the board in 2012. During his time in that role, he grew the business across 40 countries and expanded the company’s offerings to include private gallery sales and global education programs. Prior to that, he served as an executive vice president of Sotheby’s and managing director of Sotheby's North and South American divisions, following time in Sotheby’s marketing department. He stepped down from Sotheby’s in 2014. He served as a member of the University of Vermont’s Board of Trustees from 2008 to 2014, where he was recently awarded an honorary doctorate at the 2016 commencement ceremony.