FG Angels invests in art marketplace app

BOULDER – The FG Angels investment syndicate has invested $285,000 in ARTtwo50, a San Francisco-based company that sells artwork through a mobile app.

FG Angels Aggregate Investors LLC is an arm of Boulder-based Foundry Group, a venture capital firm.

“Angel” investors are wealthy individuals who invest in startup companies. FG Angels plans to invest $2.5 million into companies that are raising money on AngelList, which is an online fundraising tool that combines social networking and crowdsourcing, Brad Feld, a managing partner at Foundry, said in a blog post in October.

ARTtwo50 sell artwork from more than 1,000 U.S. artists through a mobile application loaded into an iPad. The startup company has not disclosed how much money it has raised in total.

The company plans to offer an iPhone application in addition to the iPad application. Potential artwork buyers can take an iPad photo of the space where they want to hang art, send it to the company and receive recommendations about what to buy. Potential buyers also can look at pieces of art the company sells online at www.arttwo50.com.

Artists receive  80 percent of each sale, with the remaining 20 percent going toward shipping insurance, taxes and company operations of ARTtwo50, according to the company website. Most pieces of art are listed at $250.

The FG Angels’ goal is to make 50 seed investments of $50,000 each to AngelList companies by the end of 2014, Feld has said. Foundry launched the new FG Angels venture a week after new rules from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission went into effect that allow companies to publicly advertise the fact they’re raising money. Before the change in the rules, public advertising, or general solicitation, was a big no-no.

San Francisco-based AngelList helps new companies find investors. The website currently has about 100,000 startup company profiles. AngelList takes s 5 percent commission from companies that raise money through the website. An area of the website called AngelList Syndicates Leads takes 15 percent.

Foundry Group has made “seed” investments in more than 1,000 companies, the firm has said. “Seed” investing commonly is a small amount of money invested in a startup company. Foundry Group’s “seed” investments have been made through the firm’s four directors’ personal investments, through TechStars, a startup incubator co-founded by Feld, and through other venture capital funds, among other things, Feld has said.


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