Convelio closes $35M Series B to further expand globally
Paris, 7 March 2022 – Global fine art shipping startup Convelio has raised another $35 million (€30 million) in Series B funding by new investors Forestay, Mundi Ventures, joined by The European Investment Fund (EIF) and existing investors Acton Capital and GFC.
Powered by proprietary optimised pricing technology, Convelio enables auction houses, large galleries as well as private art collectors all over the world to access the first instant quoting tool for competitively priced logistics services. As soon as a customer places an order, Convelio takes care of everything, from shipping to insurance, customs and real-time tracking.
Founded in 2017 and backed by Acton Capital since 2020, Convelio expanded significantly in 2021 and managed 14,000 shipments with a cumulative value of $265 million between over 80 countries worldwide. Annual revenues multiplied by 2.5x and the number of customers the startup served doubled to almost 3,000. Today, Convelio’s customer base include global arts market giants such as Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips. Convelio tripled its team to support growing customer demand; most of its 200 employees are based in the art world capitals of Paris, New York and London.
The fresh Series B funding will support further development of Convelio’s logistics technology, customer service offering and sustainability strategy. Responding to increasing customer demand, Convelio will further expand headcount worldwide, with particular focus on the US – the startup’s largest market – where in 2022 the team will more than double from 30 to 70.
After careers in e-commerce, co-founders Edouard Gouin and Clément Ouizille founded Convelio in 2017. They observed that, although art sales via online channels have doubled in number in recent years fuelled by the rise of younger, tech-savvy collectors, the shipping options available to customers all over the world were not built for this digital age of buying art. Traditional shipping providers can take from 1 to 5 days to issue customers with quotes to ship their high-value, time-critical items. Convelio’s online quoting system provides quotes within seconds, using proprietary algorithmic technology that assesses multiple data points instantaneously across the entire logistics chain.
While incumbent shipping companies quote customers fees worth up to 50% of the value of the item due to be shipped, Convelio is able to offer quotes that are up to 46% cheaper than competitors’, thanks to its tech-first approach in a marketplace where automation has historically not been employed. Convelio customers benefit from not only a faster and easier service, but a more competitively priced one too.
“Convelio is disrupting a huge industry that’s competitive, demanding but inherently slow to change. The speed at which this team is winning business away from competitors in what’s traditionally been a close-knit community of auction houses, galleries and shippers is hugely impressive. Convelio is on an aggressive global journey to transform an outmoded way of shipping that we are excited to support”, says Marieke Christman of UK- and Switzerland-based VC firm Forestay commented.
The future opportunity for Convelio to take its disruptive logistics technology to more markets is vast. Convelio’s current focus is on specialised logistics in the art, antiques and luxury furniture markets that are cumulatively valued at more than $5 billion in the US, UK and Europe alone. This segment forms part of the world’s $1.6 trillion ‘high-value, time-critical and non-palletised’ goods market, which itself forms almost 20% of the global logistics market worth $7.4 trillion annually.
“On its current growth trajectory and with its ambitious 2022 expansion plans now in train, Convelio stands to become a leading shipping partner for valuable goods worldwide, not just in the art and antiques market but far more broadly over time wherever high quality, trusted, dependable shipping is required”, says Javier Santiso, CEO and partner at Mundi Ventures, international investment firm behind compenies like Wefox, Bolttech or Klarna.
“We are very pleased to welcome Forestay and Mundi Ventures as financial investors”, said Managing Director and Co-Founder, Edouard Gouin. “Both investors align closely with our values on innovation and supportive, sustainable relationships. They believe in our vision to be leaders in the industry. This funding will fuel our efforts in technology, contribute to expanding our offering and help us expand our global footprint, particularly in the US, our fastest growing market”.
Managing Director and Co-Founder Clément Ouizille, added: “Backing from two more leading technology investors reflects the size of the opportunity in our reach, as the world art market continues to grow and adapts to the new digital norms”.
Sustainability is at the centre of Convelio’s mission to bring art logistics into the future. In addition to fueling business development goals, funds raised will be used to drive ESG projects and adapt the company’s service offering to reduce the impact on the planet.
Cécile Bernard, Worldwide Head of Operations at Sotheby’s, commented: “The art market is moving online and touching more and more buyers, and to address our clients’ needs we are doubling down on our digital strategy. Convelio’s solutions are pivotal in this endeavour. Their one-stop-shop approach is allowing us to rapidly serve a greater number of clients with a single integration while streamlining the work of the teams in charge”.
Convelio is a fine art shipping company with a digital approach. It has offices in London, New York and Paris and their mission is simple: to make the transport of art, antiques and collectable design pieces more efficient, secure and affordable. Through its online platform you can instantly book shipping including costs related to packing, customs, insurance, front-door and white-glove delivery. The company was launched in 2017 and has since empowered almost 3,000 art market businesses across 80+ countries.