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Startup creates ecommerce platform for artists

May 15, 2014
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Startup creates ecommerce platform for artists
Folyo is a social ecommerce platform that connects student artists with buyers. Photo via folyo.com

A startup is connecting art students and buyers online.

Start Garden, the $15-million seed fund in Grand Rapids, said last week that it will invest $5,000 in Folyo.

An art community

As a social ecommerce platform, Folyo seeks to bring art students and buyers together to build a community both online and offline, while allowing artists to tell their stories.

Folyo is designed to empower artists as entrepreneurs at an early stage in their career by giving them exposure and connecting them to resources.

The platform focuses on the social aspect of buying art, and it allows both artists and buyers to make a profile, said Ashley Cara, chief operating officer and co-founder, Folyo.

“We see Folyo becoming a hub for the art community, and we are working to develop partnerships with galleries, auction houses and schools nationwide,” Cara said.

Artists can take pictures of their work and post them on the platform, receive feedback from other users and sell their work.

Buyers in the art community can browse pieces listed on Folyo by artist, medium or color. Buyers can then comment on or review the piece and purchase the artwork through PayPal.

Next step

Folyo will use the Start Garden funds on market testing, such as observing and identifying how many art enthusiasts and art collectors will create a profile on the ecommerce platform.

Folyo will also use the funds to set up booths at art events, such as ArtPrize, the Ann Arbor Art Fair and gallery shows.

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