Convelio is a tech-led fine art shipping company used by thousands of auction houses, galleries, marketplaces and collectors around the world. Powered by our proprietary algorithmic technology, we provide customers with the industry’s first instant quoting tool for competitively priced logistics services. As soon as a customer places an order, we take care of everything, from shipping to insurance, customs and real-time tracking.
We’re transforming the approach to fine art logistics through technology. A traditional shipping provider takes 1 to 5 days to issue customers with quotes to ship their high-value, time-critical items. Our online quoting system provides quotes within seconds, using algorithmic technology that assesses multiple data points instantaneously across the entire logistics chain. Convelio customers benefit from not only a faster and easier service, but a more competitively priced one too. Thanks to our tech-first approach in a marketplace where automation has historically not been used, we can offer quotes that are 46% cheaper than competitors.
Since launching in 2017, we’ve grown quickly. Today we’re used by art world giants Christie’s, Sotheby’s, Philips, 1stdibs and 3,000 more customers and have arranged shipments between 80 countries worldwide. In 2021 alone we arranged 14,000 shipments of items cumulatively worth almost $300m.
How did you come up with the idea for the company?
My co-founder Clément Ouizille and I started our careers working for Rocket Internet’s COO Adrian Frenzel, now global COO of Gorillas. During our time working for Rocket’s portfolio companies, we developed an acute understanding of startup operations and went on to build e-commerce companies in the fine-art space out of personal interest. Before Convelio, I launched a high-end design marketplace and Clément was the former Head of Logistics of Pamono.com.
We quickly came to realise that, contrary to more classical e-commerce spaces, fine-art was missing a key piece to successfully transition online: efficient, and integrated, shipping. Although art sales via online channels have doubled in number in recent years fuelled by the rise of younger, tech-savvy collectors, the shipping options available to customers all over the world were not built for this digital age of buying art.Convelio was born in 2017 to fill the gap.
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How has the company evolved during the pandemic?
The pace at which the art market has moved online has been slow, particularly in comparison with other more ‘classic’ ecommerce, but for a long time it essentially only catered to an audience who preferred to see an artwork for themselves “offline” before buying it. But things are changing, and change has been fundamentally accelerated with Covid. During the pandemic, the entire industry was forced to move online, introducing younger, more tech-savvy generations of buyers who expect, instinctively, an online-first experience.
For a tech-driven business for Convelio, this created a huge opportunity. In 2021 alone, annual revenues multiplied by 2.5x, the number of customers the startup served doubled to almost 3,000, and our team tripled to 200 people to support growing customer demand.
What can we hope to see from Convelio in the future?
Our latest $35 million Series B investment led by Forestay will fuel further development of our logistics technology, customer service offering and sustainability strategy. Responding to increasing customer demand, we will further expand headcount worldwide, with particular focus on the US – our largest market – where during 2022 we expect the team to more than double in size from 30 to 70.
Our opportunity to take our logistics technology to more markets in time is hugely exciting. Right now we’re focusing on specialised logistics in the art, antiques and luxury furniture markets that are cumulatively valued at more than $5 billion in the US, UK and Europe alone. Yet this segment forms part of the world’s $1.6 trillion ‘high-value, time-critical and non-palletised’ goods market, which itself forms almost 20% of the global logistics market worth $7.4 trillion annually. The opportunities are vast and we’re just getting started.