SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- IfOnly (www.ifonly.com), America's leading marketplace for experiences, announced today a round of funding from Sotheby's (www.sothebys.com), the renowned global art business. The partnership between the two brands is aligned around the pursuit of the world's greatest treasures and experiences, as well as enriching the experience of existing customers and reaching beyond to new audiences.
IfOnly will use the funds to fuel further expansion of the company's experiences marketplace model into new markets domestically as well as internationally. While signing up world renowned, A-list talent (known on IfOnly as "luminaries") remains a core objective, IfOnly is also investing in technology to better enable locally talented individuals and venues to easily sell any type of experience in a number of different ways: from the traditional buy-it-now model to auctions to sweepstakes for very rare experiences.
"Those who come to Sotheby's seeking the finest works of art, jewels, cars and wines are also interested in unattainable, extraordinary experiences," commented David Goodman, Executive Vice President, Digital Development & Marketing for Sotheby's. "IfOnly not only creates an opportunity to welcome new audiences to Sotheby's, but provides our existing clients with access to unique events that amplify their interests and passions."
"With recent stats showing over seventy-two percent of people would rather spend their money on experiences than things, it's easy to see that the long-predicted 'Experience Economy' has arrived and continues to strengthen. This investment enables us to realize the full potential of this trend, locally and across the globe, " said IfOnly CEO and Founder Trevor Traina.
Sotheby's to Debut First-Ever "Experiences Auction" November 28th
The first step of the IfOnly-Sotheby's partnership will launch next week with the "IFONLY PRESENTS: The Experiences Auction" featuring a selection of approximately 25 unique adventure, culinary and athletic experiences created by IfOnly. In keeping with IfOnly's philosophy, a portion of the selling price of every item goes to worthy causes around the world. The auction opens on CyberMonday – November 28, 2016 – and runs through December 9th. Featured lots in the auction include:
- London "Star Wars" Premiere: Attend the "Rogue One" debut and meet the film's star Forest Whitaker, along with attending the VIP after-party.
- Winemaker dinner with Screaming Eagle at Meadowood Napa Valley for six Guests – a rare opportunity to taste wines from the acclaimed Cabernet producer paired with cuisine from Michelin-starred chef Christopher Kostow accompanied by winemaker Nick Gislason.
- Private tennis lesson with former pro and Olympic medalist Brad Gilbert, who has also coached such tennis stars as Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick and Andy Murray, in addition to serving as an ESPN host.
This announcement comes on the heels of a recent B round last fall including several notable VC firms and angel investors, including Advance Newhouse, Digital Garage, XB Ventures, Dropbox founder and CEO Drew Houston, and Yucaipa Capital chief Ron Burkle. Other previous investors include American Express Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Founders Fund, Nirav Tolia, Marc Benioff, Yuri Milner, Marissa Mayer and Jeremy Stoppelman. Fueled by these investments, the site has added several new regional markets in recent months, delivering a deeper selection of local offerings in Los Angeles, New York and Boston, with plans for expansion into 20 cities by the end of 2017.
ABOUT IFONLY: IfOnly is a marketplace for incredible experiences. From unique everyday offerings with local experts to once-in-a-lifetime connections with lauded luminaries, IfOnly provides access to a curated selection of extraordinary experiences that benefit worthy causes around the world. IfOnly was founded in 2012 by serial entrepreneur Trevor Traina and is funded by NEA, Khosla Ventures, Founders Fund, American Express Ventures, Triple Point Capital, and other notable investors. The company is based in San Francisco.
ABOUT SOTHEBY'S: Sotheby's has been uniting collectors with world-class works of art since 1744. Sotheby's became the first international auction house when it expanded from London to New York (1955), the first to conduct sales in Hong Kong (1973), India (1992) and France (2001), and the first international fine art auction house in China (2012). Today, Sotheby's presents auctions in 10 different salesrooms, including New York, London, Hong Kong and Paris, and Sotheby's BidNow program allows visitors to view all auctions live online and place bids from anywhere in the world. Sotheby's offers collectors the resources of Sotheby's Financial Services, the world's only full-service art financing company, as well as private sale opportunities in more than 70 categories, including S|2, the gallery arm of Sotheby's Contemporary Art department, and two retail businesses, Sotheby's Diamonds and Sotheby's Wine. Sotheby's has a global network of 90 offices in 40 countries and is the oldest company listed on the New York Stock Exchange (BID).