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Art.com – Profile

February 21, 2005

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HQ: Raleigh, NC
Founded: 1997 (formerly Pokers.com, then Allwall.com, before it acquired Art.com from Getty Images in 2001)
Management: Company was founded by childhood buddies Joshua Chodniewicz and Michael Marston (both 31). Given that they started the company when they were 23 years old and in college, neither has prior experience. They do, however, resemble two parts of a boy band.
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Art.com Founders Or Backstreet Boys?
Investors: In February 2005, the company raised $30M in the first part of a round of financing from Polaris Ventures. Polaris VC and former Washington Post.com head Alan Spoon joined the board along with InterActive Corp. VP Dan Marriott. Founders pocketed about $10M of the round.
Business Model: Art.com is an eCommerce company that merchandizes posters and other art products. As with all eCommerce companies, Art.com stakes its business on customer satisfaction. Company claims to have been profitable since 2000.
Competitors: Company has strong competition from Emmeryville, CA-based AllPosters.com, which has higher revenues and head count than Art.com. The company is funded by Benchmark Capital and does a lot more advertising online than Art.com. There are many other places where artwork can be found online including eBay as well as small outlets found via Froogle and other eCommerce search engines.
Dirt: Art.com told employees in February 2005 that they were working on a merger with AllPosters.com. If they merge, the two companies would have a combined revenue base of more than $80M. That will be enough to take the company public and get solid interest.

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