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Our portfolio company Invaluable just announced a partnership with eBay. We congratulate Invaluable CEO Rob Weisberg and the entire Invaluable team for this extraordinary accomplishment. This partnership recognizes Invaluable’s leadership of the online live auction market. The combination of eBay’s 145 million active buyers with Invaluable’s auction house network should provide enormous benefit to both companies.
As featured in our recently held B2B event, “The Shift to the Cloud: Disrupting Legacy Industries,” Ascent’s developed a longstanding investment interest in online platforms that transform legacy industries. Invaluable is driving the transformation of the more than $60 billion live auction industry through its online marketplace that connects traditional auction houses with online buyers.
While it may still be a while before a $10 million Degas painting is sold over the internet, online bidding has obvious benefits for both the auction houses and buyers. The auction house can significantly expand the bidder pool and drive higher pricing, while the buyers can conveniently access auctions across the globe without leaving their living room (or iPad).
When we first met Adam Kirsch, Invaluable’s founder, in late 2009, my partners and I had a strong conviction that this market would eventually move online and that Invaluable would become the dominant player. The only question was timing. This recent eBay announcement and Invaluable’s own momentum demonstrate that the timing is now! We are thrilled to be working with the team and our fellow co-investors at Invaluable.
For more on the Invaluable-eBay news, you can read the Boston Business Journal story by Sara Castellanos: http://www.bizjournals.com/boston/blog/techflash/2014/05/interest-in-online-auction-marketplace-invaluable.html