Curioos is a digital art startup focused on showcasing up-and-coming artists and selling their artwork in different formats. Each object has its own series of artworks specifically tailored for the product.
For example, the collection of watch bracelets is different from the collection of phone skins. Curioos offers an opportunity for artists to monetize their work as well. Originally from France, it just opened a new office in New York.
“We don’t want to be a big manufacturer with the same artwork that comes in all sorts of formats,” Mathieu Valoatto, founder and CEO of Curioos, said in an interview. “We want to perpetuate our curating role. It is very important for us because other websites host as many artists as they can,” he continued.
While websites like Behance allow artists to showcase their work in a very traditional format, like a LinkedIn for artists, Curioos supplements this function by becoming the marketplace for those same artworks.
“Curioos is selling the good artwork from the good artist in the right format,” Valoatto said. Thanks to an invite system, the company limits artist signups and still reviews every artwork before selling it. Many opportunities lie ahead, with plans to provide 3D printed objects, smartphone cases and decorative objects.
In 2011, the company started out with a simple Tumblr blog. It used the API to automatically crawl Flickr, deviantART and Behance. Thanks to a bot, it notified artists on Tumblr, who then liked and reposted what they saw. Every week, the blog received thousands of new followers. It now has 125,000 artists or curators subscribed to it.
In July 2011, the company invited the first artists on the marketplace, with an impressive conversion rate of 75 percent. So far, Curioos raised $500,000 (€375,000) from Fabrice Sergent (Cellfish, NYC), Christophe Chausson (Chausson Finance, Paris), Emmanuel Brunet (Eulerian, Paris), Yves Weisselberger (SnapCar, Paris) and others. With the funding round, the company is opening a new office in New York and plans to become the prominent digital art marketplace.Click to view slideshow.