Sunday, January 24, 2021

Don’t take everything too personally

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Sabine Elsässer
Sabine Elsässer is founder and chief editor of the StartupValleyNews Magazine. She started her career at several international direct sale companys. Since 2007 she works main time as a journalist. While that time she learned more about the Startup Scene, what made her start her own Startup Magazine the StartupValleyNews.

Feral Horses is a live trading platform for art

Please introduce yourself and your startup Feral Horses to our readers!
Feral Horses​ is an art&tech startup that was launched in Spring 2017. Feral Horses is a live trading platform but for art. Simply said, we are a double-sided marketplace: so we source contemporary artworks and sell them in shares to our users. By selling shares of artworks, we make art investment much more affordable, in fact, you can buy a share for as little as £3. So, on one side, our users build art investment portfolios by micro-investing in their favourite artworks and, on the other side, our artists get financial support and social endorsement from the crowds. Last but not least, we have just started to offer the artworks for rental to increase the visibility of the assets and generate dividends up to 11% a year for the co-owners.

How did you get the idea to Feral Horses?
The starting point was our shared passion for art. We soon found ourselves frustrated by the fact that we couldn’t invest in artworks as in any other assets. We all believe that art should be accessible to everyone, but the art market has high entry-barriers and investing in art is needlessly complex, elitist, and expensive. So, we have built a product to solve that.

Giving the opportunity to people to invest directly in artworks brings them close to artists, and it also gives artists the social recognition they deserve, in addition to financial profit.

Who is your target audience?
Our users are mainly millennials who are looking for alternative investments that match their interests and values, such as social sharing and inclusiveness, with lower costs. Of course, not all of them are art experts, but they all tend to identify as art lovers or art-curious. We offer them the possibility to co-own artworks, get to know more about the art world and meaningfully support contemporary artists’ careers.

However, as long as you have a curiosity for art, an internet connection and a few coins on your bank account you are good to go!

What is the USP of your startup?
At the moment, we are the only company who has a live-trading platform on the market. However, it won’t be the case for much longer as new competitors are about to break into the market. Like any other tech company, we’ll have to adapt and start providing value to our users during the phase in which they hold their shares to maintain our position.

Exciting events to provide an immersive art experience are in the pipeline as we speak!

Can you describe a typical workday of you?
I am an early bird, so I wake up early and get to the office at 7:30 am. We use the agile methodology at Feral Horses, so my day starts with answering three questions: “what did I do yesterday?”, “what will I do today?” and “is there anything blocking me?”. I plan my day ahead and then dedicate my time to getting things done.I normally create and deliver in the morning and try to put all my meetings after lunch. My typical tasks include managing investors relations, collaborating closely with the tech team and improving the product with new features, planning workshops to share knowledge and skills across the team, preparing for public speaking events such as conferences and panel discussions as well as presentations with new partners within the art and tech space.

Where do you see yourself and your startup Feral Horses in five years?
Our ultimate goal is to position Feral Horses at the forefront of the data-driven revolution that is reshaping the art market. By allowing anyone to invest in art, anyone can be a young patron, interact with art and have fun with their portfolio. We are also building a voting system to let people vote for the decision about the artworks: rental, exhibitions… We want our platform to be a meeting point where artists, investors, galleries and art enthusiasts can play an active role.

In addition to that, by recording all the transaction data, Feral Horses aims to make the industry more efficient and more transparent especially regarding the pricing activities.

What 3 tips would you give other Startup founders on the way?
First, don’t be afraid of people stealing your ideas, just go and tell your idea to everyone! One of the vital first lesson, we have learned as young startuppers is that you have to talk about your idea all day long to everyone and to listen to feedback and criticisms. If you let yourself slip into a crazy paranoiac state of mind, you are going to lose so much time, energy, opportunities and precious resources.

Then, don’t take everything too personally. You will receive a lot of good and bad feedback on your idea and it’s natural to take everything personally. Most of the time, people genuinely want to help out. Concerns, doubts, misunderstandings you need to listen carefully to refine your idea and come up with a solution that is really solving a pain.

Last but not least, you have to be true to your vision without being afraid of changes. Nothing is written in stones. The process of listening to others’ concerns as well as your own and implementing changes accordingly will only let you build a stronger idea that will more easily be turned into reality later on.

Just remember that ideas, just like every living being, evolve or die.

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Thank you  for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

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