New York Startup Brings Art to the Online Masses
"I think there are tons and tons of people who don't buy art," says Jen Bekman, founder of 20x200, "because no one's tried to sell it to them." The art world traditionally keeps the teeming masses at arm's length. Not Bekman, who launched the website 20x200 in 2007 to engage the masses, even the ones who're just looking for something--gasp!--to go with their couch. 20x200 democratizes the experience of buying art by selling limited editions by artists both emerging and established. The pieces range from $20 to $5,000. From the comfort of home, potential buyers can flip through the site's more than 400 prints and photographs by price, category--animals and typography are popular--or color.
As with any pioneer, Bekman's venture was initially met with incredulity. The art world was late to online marketing and e-commerce, but 20x200 proved the profitability of the intersection between art and tech. Two years after it launched, 20x200 received almost $900,000 in venture capital funding and jumped from $1.6 million in revenue to $2.7 million in 2010.
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