Featured Startup Pitch: Collectorism – A network that connects collectors of all kinds around the globe
A global network providing a platform for collectors to showcase and exchange their items.
Collecting is important. It preserves our culture. Without collecting there wouldn’t be libraries or museums. Our basic idea was that everyone is a collector. Whether it is pebbles or paintings—doesn’t matter. All the people we spoke to agreed that at some stage in their lives they had collected. The collectibles market is not estimated to be 200 million persons strong for nothing.
Collectorism is the realm of collectors; a member’s club where everyone can bring their friends. It is a network aiming to unite 200 million-plus users from all corners of the globe. It’s a place to find and exchange items and connect with fellow collectors. Our image-focused design and the simple drag-and-drop system makes browsing and exchanging collectibles easier and more fun than ever. Alongside active collectors, who would hugely benefit from being able to find others not previously within their reach, there are many who have been living out this passion only for a short time and still have their stamp collection under their bed, or a set of carefully-ordered napkins in the cupboard. We trust that our website will reawaken their interest, and they’ll stop pondering about what to do with their old collections.
The beta version was launched in November 2015 with thousands of items already on the site. We have private collectors, as well as dealerships and institutions, willing to exchange items of their current stock.
DIFFERENTIATORS VS. THE COMPETITION
As strange as it may sound, there is no direct competition. There are marketplaces focusing on collectors and collectibles, but users can only buy and sell on these platforms and are not able to showcase their own items. Existing bartering and swapping sites tend to focus on a certain area or only have services for exchange, and therefore are not preferred by our target market. We spent a lot of time designing the user experience of the site to have a more user friendly approach than any of the other marketplaces. Signing up, uploading items and trading are a lot easier and quicker than usual.
We are two art business professionals with 30 years of combined experience. The idea of Collectorism first came up at a congress in Spain. We watched in fascination the way collectors from all over the world were exchanging their objects in the conference room all day long. As we were sitting in the ‘exchange room,’ we were surprised to find out that there was no similar space or interface for this on the Internet. We started to think about—with our years of experience in ecommerce—how to fill this gap, and in 2014 we were already brainstorming with a development team. As we set the website up, we remembered many of our own personal experiences—me exchanging sport cards and comic books in my childhood, Karoly exchanging books for other books or for valuable engravings. All of these experiences went into developing the best possible interface and functionality on the website. The final version was approved after lots of planning, followed by a long development process.
In the meantime, we tried to talk to as many people as possible, asking what would make them happy, what they preferred to find on the website, and what were their requirements for this kind of marketplace. We set out to form our strategy about how to get the content to the general public; and step-by-step the aim became clearer—to make Collectorism the biggest online community of collectors in the world, where everyone can find whoever or whatever he or she is looking for.
HEADQUARTERS: London and Budapest
YEAR FOUNDED: 2015