Convelio delivers record-breaking year in shipments, sales and investment

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Saturday, March 2, 2024

Convelio delivers record-breaking year in shipments, sales and investment
Co-founders Edouard Gouin (L) and Clément Ouizille (R) have steered the fine art shipping start-up to new heights in 2022 © Convelio.

PARIS.- In 2022, Convelio, the world’s leading tech-led fine art shipper, has achieved a new company record in shipments carried, its best year-on-year revenue growth, and received the industry’s highest ever investment funding. The historic year situates it perfectly to enter its sixth year of business as a market leader supplying shipping services to the $65 billion global art and antiques market. The retreat of Covid-19 in 2022 has revealed an art market that is far more attuned to technology, particularly e-commerce, than ever before, with Convelio ready to work with galleries and collectors alike around the world for their changing logistical needs.

Convelio’s co-founder and CEO, Edouard Gouin, says: “The Covid-19 pandemic exponentially motivated art market players to move online and it saw them invest in digital channels. They quickly realised that digitalising not only made their business cheaper to operate but that it also attracted new types of clients. These new demographics of art world collectors have changed the landscape of the art market. We expect the digital initiatives begun by clients in 2021 and 2022 will continue in 2023”.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the year:

Record Investment In Art Shipping

A particular highlight to the year was the investment of $35 million dollars into Convelio by Forestay, with participation from Mundi Ventures, the European Investment Fund and existing investors Acton Capital and Global Founders Capital. It is the largest ever investment into an art logistics business globally.

The Rise of the Newer, Younger Buyer

Gouin reports the Under 40 demographic is forming a larger than ever part of the art market audience and subsequently of the Convelio client base. He notes that the current generation of leadership figures within the art market are increasingly recognising the presence of these buyers and their prioritization of a tech-led service. Of those buying art, up to 40% are doing so for the first time through online auctions. A growing proportion of buyers are digital native and expect to be able to purchase seamlessly online.

Shipping Prices Stabilise

At the end of 2021, international shipping prices spiked, leaving shippers and buyers alike with concerns about logistical budgets. The sharp increase in demand of courier services and courier shipping over the previous two years had been the main factor in this. Fortunately, 2022 has seen a decrease in rates for shipping on both international and local scales. It is expected that this will continue in 2023 as the macroeconomic context develops.

Solidified Presence In The Art Market Supply Chain

Convelio managed over 14,000 shipments in 2022 and has now delivered 35,000 shipments since its inception. This growth has occurred across Europe and North America, with the latter the area of the most expansive growth. The United States is Convelio’s biggest and fastest growing country of operation and was the most popular destination for shipments by Convelio in 2022. Gouin attributes this to two elements: higher purchasing power parity (PPP) in the US and the US Dollar’s strength against the Euro and Pound. He says, “we’ve seen a strong appetite from US collectors buying in Europe, even in this current climate”.

Experiencing A Steady Recovery Of The Art Market

Gouin sees the art market as “resilient but not booming” at present, seeing the steady rise in shipments in 2022 as a steady strengthening of the art world. New client relationships created through partnerships including the inaugural Paris+, Salon Art + Design New York and Design Miami have attested to the direction in which the market is heading.

Consolidation In The Future

It is expected that art shipping services will consolidate further, bringing the art world’s logistical needs under one operation. Gouin expects that the shipping industry may follow the route of the financial services industry, in that banks have become a ‘one stop shop’ for multiple financial needs, becoming its ownecosystem.

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