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DSG Consumer backs art marketplace Insignia

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Gurgaon-based art venture Insignia Art Collect Pvt Ltd has raised Rs 3.5 crore ($520,000) from early-stage investment firm DSG Consumer Partners, a financial daily reported.

The venture runs an online marketplace, BestCollegeArt.com, art gallery Art District XIII and The Wall Art Magazine. This is the first external round of investment for the startup. 

“Insignia is an interesting mix of curated art at Art District XIII for the top end of the art market and for representation in global fairs, Bestcollegart.com for emerging artists selling affordable art and The Wall ­ an authoritative source on Indian and global art news.We look forward to working with the team to build a market leading art business," Shahdadpuri, managing director, DSG Consumer Partners, said to The Economic Times.

The company founded by Nikhil Girdhar, Pooja Mishra and Jyotsna Sharma, is a platform for budding artists to sell their artwork. Its flagship brand, BestCollegeArt, which was founded by Kapil Chopra, The Oberoi group president (for India), sells art through both its online and offline channels.

Each artist is allowed to upload five artwork – photographs, paintings, sculpture, prints and works on paper – every four months for free. However, for every art sold, the company takes a 40 per cent cut as operational expenses. For sales, the company follows a hybrid online plus offline model, where collectors can buy directly from the site, or purchase artwork at one of its offline art shows.

Other startups in the space are canvas.in, World Art Community, Mojarto and Cupick.

In October, World Art Community had raised $200,000 in a second round of funding led by its existing investors, including Viraj Tyagi. In May 2015, Tyagi, along with an unnamed investor, had invested $200,000.

In September 2016, Canvs.in, a community for artists and designers in India, had received an undisclosed amount of angel investment from Pratik Seal, the former chief marketing officer of Housing.com.

Online marketplace for art pieces and designs Cupick.com, had raised $120,000 (Rs 76 lakh) in funding from a group of US and Indian angel investors in 2015.

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DSG Consumer Partners is a $20 million venture capital fund managed by DSG Partners Asia Pte Ltd. It provides early stage capital to companies operating in India and Southeast Africa. It typically invests between $1 million to $10 million in its portfolio companies. The fund seeks to invest in technology, hospitality, consumer durables, banking and financial, food and beverages sectors.

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