BERLIN, Sept. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The leading online auction house Auctionata has acquired the London-based valuation company ValueMyStuff (VMS). VMS was founded in 2009 by its current CEO Patrick van der Vorst, former President and Head of Department at Sotheby's in London. VMS offers fee-based valuations with a team of over sixty fine art, luxury objects, antiques and collectibles specialists who have formerly worked at major international auction houses. With over 469,000 valuations and 400,000 customers, it is one of the largest online valuation companies in the global market.
Alexander Zacke, founder and CEO of Auctionata, said, "Having access to the best experts worldwide is an essential aspect of Auctionata's business model. Through the acquisition of VMS we are able to expand the expertise from which we provide our customers with fast and reliable valuations. As the market leader and inventor of the livestream auction, we are thus not only shaping the user experience for our bidders, but also for our consignors."
Patrick van der Vorst, founder and CEO of VMS, added, "The partnership with Auctionata allows us to not only provide our customers access to the best experts, but also a direct path to the most successful online selling channel for their valued items." Van der Vorst will oversee the expansion of Auctionata's global expert network and continue in his role as CEO of VMS.
In 2010, VMS received significant media attention after van der Vorst's appearance on the BBC series 'Dragon's Den', where he was able to attract a £100,000 investment from Deborah Meaden and Theo Paphitis. As a result of Auctionata's take-over, the two previous shareholders, Meaden and Paphitis, have been bought out. Talking about the success of her investment, Deborah Meaden said, "Over the last few years, VMS has shown significant growth and has expanded its business both organically and through acquisitions. It had always been our plan to build and exit and we will be delighted to see the company reach another level with a strong international partner."
The acquisition of VMS constitutes another advance in Auctionata's rapid international expansion, particularly into the United Kingdom. Having grown to become Germany's biggest auction house in less than three years, with revenues of €35.7 million (US $39.7 million) in the first half year 2015, the company is pursuing its track towards market leadership in Europe.
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Auctionata brings the world of unique works of art, antiques and luxury collectibles to the internet. As the inventor of the livestream auction, Auctionata broadcasts auctions in real-time and provides an online auction room that is accessible to bidders worldwide via desktop and mobile devices. Auctionata also offers all of the typical services of a traditional auction house via its website: Valuation, authentication, curation, auction and all related services, including a full authenticity guarantee. Sellers benefit from the free and non-binding online valuation, which gives a first quick perspective on potential auction results. Auctionata professionals and its global network of over 300 experts from more than 40 countries ensure a proper assessment and authentication of each object that goes to auction. The spectrum ranges from paintings, prints, sculptures and antiques to furniture, design objects and porcelain, to watches, jewelry, wine and even classic cars.
The company was launched by Alexander Zacke (CEO) and Georg Untersalmberger in 2012 in a hotel room in Berlin. Today, Auctionata is the biggest auction house in Germany and operates globally with offices in New York, London, Zurich, Rome and Madrid. The company recorded total net sales of €31.5 million in 2014, and €35.7 million in the first half of 2015. Moreover, Auctionata set the world record for the most expensive work of art sold in an online auction, when it sold a Chinese clock for €3.37 million (US $3.83 million) in June 2015. The investors include Earlybird, HV Holtzbrick Ventures, Hearst Ventures and Groupe Arnault, controlling shareholder of French luxury group LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton.