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The Ode To

Make buying art effortless for a new generation of art collectors!

A new generation of digitally savvy customers has lead to a democratisation of art with an increased interest in the unique. People are ready to spend on something more special than mass-produced posters, but are unlikely to visit intimidating and expensive art galleries.

The Ode To is an online gallery that finds the best emerging artists and curate a creative selection of affordable one-of-a-kind artworks, made by predominantly female artists, and shown in a great visual context. 

With a vision to make buying art effortless for a new generation of art collectors, we are ready to take the next step!

Investor proposal

Be part of a journey which is rewarding from both a business and artistic perspective, while also supporting female artists.

  • Digital art galleries have proven to be successful, especially in the US, while the space is unclaimed in Europe. There’s potential to disrupt the traditional art market and reach a new generation of art buyers on a growing market.
  • The founding team has unparalleled experience and skills for both strategy and art.
  • It’s a possibility of bringing positive change by working for equality in the art industry.
Everyone who invests 5,000 SEK or more will receive a limited edition art print from The Ode To that will be sent to you when the crowdfunding campaign closes.

In this crowdfunding round B-shares will be offered. Some angel investors investing larger amounts of money have been offered A-share for strategic reasons.

Product

The problem this product solves

Buying art is no longer only for the elite - a new generation of digitally savvy customers has lead to a democratization of art and interior with an increased interest in the unique. People are ready to spend on something more special than mass-produced posters, but are unlikely to visit an intimidating and expensive art gallery. People today find their interior and art inspiration through Pinterest, Instagram and other digital means, yet there are still few places where affordable and special art is easily available.

How the product solves it

Our vision is to make buying art effortless for a new generation of art collectors, while supporting female artists.

The Ode To is an online gallery curating and creating limited and one-of-a-kind artworks made by the best emerging artists available to affordable prices. All gathered in a visually inspiring website, customers can easily browse and discover contemporary art. The result is just as unique as an art gallery, but effortless and accessible. The artworks are sold online exclusively at The Ode To, enabling an assortment that is truly special and can’t be found elsewhere.

Product features

We offer people an opportunity to get something special for their home, that few others have.

Limited: we’re anything but mass-produced as all products are one-of-a-kind originals or made in small series. 

Creative: we have a wide variety of expressions and mediums, ranging from wooden artworks and ceramic sculptures to textile prints and original drawings. 

Craftsmanship: the artworks are made by hand by skilled artists.

Sustainable: our products adhere to the (lasting) trend of responsible consumption through sustainability in both design and quality. 

Affordable: by working with emerging artists we can keep the retail prices down. 

Product use cases

Our customers are interested in interior and find it important to keep a beautiful and personal home. They have graduated from cheap furniture and posters and want something more lasting and special, but need help finding those pieces. They seek inspiration and research online, therefore appreciate an effortless way to discover contemporary art. Our followers and customers are mainly female and in the age of 25-44, which tends to be the target group that spends most time and money on interior design. 73% of visits to theodeto.com are made on a mobile device. 

Team

Helena Carlberg avatar
Helena Carlberg Co-Founder and CEO
Helena Carlberg: an alumni from Stockholm School of Economics and a part of the founding team of & Other Stories as concept developer and Head of Digital Communication. Later on she moved to New York to work with digital communication for the luxury fashion brand Theory. Since moving back to ... See more
Helena Carlberg: an alumni from Stockholm School of Economics and a part of the founding team of & Other Stories as concept developer and Head of Digital Communication. Later on she moved to New York to work with digital communication for the luxury fashion brand Theory. Since moving back to Stockholm she became partner at concept studio Open Studio, consulting companies on retail strategy. She has a knack for creative direction, brand building and business development. Helena lives in Stockholm. See less
Anna Lukins avatar
Anna Lukins Co-Founder and COO
Anna Lukins started out in fashion retail at Hugo Boss and H&M, but has always been magically drawn to art and photography. She pursued that interest by re-educating herself at Berghs School of Communication & Stockholm University. Changing her career by working as a photo agent at Mink Management and ... See more
Anna Lukins started out in fashion retail at Hugo Boss and H&M, but has always been magically drawn to art and photography. She pursued that interest by re-educating herself at Berghs School of Communication & Stockholm University. Changing her career by working as a photo agent at Mink Management and later founding Alster Collective - representing creatives throughout Europe. Her speciality is forming a commercial assortment and managing creative talents. Anna lives in Amsterdam. See less
Carlos Lorente avatar
Carlos Lorente Financial Advisor
Carlos Lorente has a profound experience in investments, Merger & Acquisitions and corporate development from global companies such as Spotify, Bonnier and Perella Weinberg Partners. Carlos is our advisor for the company financials and investments. He's also the co-founder and CFO of health tech start-up Doctrin, giving great insights into ... See more
Carlos Lorente has a profound experience in investments, Merger & Acquisitions and corporate development from global companies such as Spotify, Bonnier and Perella Weinberg Partners. Carlos is our advisor for the company financials and investments. He's also the co-founder and CFO of health tech start-up Doctrin, giving great insights into start-up organisation and strategies. See less
Joakim Tengzelius avatar
Joakim Tengzelius Business Advisor
Joakim Tengzelius is a Founding Partner at Valentum, a leading advisory firm for entrepreneurs and growth companies. Through his work he's gained great insights into retail companies' business strategies and road to success. Joakim is also an angel investor himself, specialising in e-commerce startups and he is one of our ... See more
Joakim Tengzelius is a Founding Partner at Valentum, a leading advisory firm for entrepreneurs and growth companies. Through his work he's gained great insights into retail companies' business strategies and road to success. Joakim is also an angel investor himself, specialising in e-commerce startups and he is one of our early investors, and a great advisor in strategic matters ranging from marketing spend to logistics and ecom solutions. See less
Jessica Lagerman avatar
Jessica Lagerman Stylist
Jessica Lagerman is the stylist that has helped us with plenty of photo shoots and has set the tone for our imagery. She creates environments that show our artworks in a beautiful context.
Mikael Lundblad avatar
Mikael Lundblad Photographer and Videographer
Mikael Lundblad regularly shoots for major interior magazines in Sweden and internationally, such as Residence, Plaza Interiör and Milk Magazine. He has shot most of our campaigns and images and captures our artworks in a serene and natural way.

Market

Target Market

The global online art market has increased 72% over the last 5 years, reaching $5,4 billion and with a future growth estimated to 15% per year. Interior design is one of the fastest growing online sectors in Sweden with a 22% increase in 2018 to a 3,7 billion SEK turnover. 

We offer shipping within the EU, with a main focus on Northern Europe due to the closeness to our home market, online shopping penetration and interior design spending.

Competitive landscape

On one end of the spectrum is low-priced retailers, such as Desenio, with mass-produced posters by unknown artists, while traditional art galleries are very expensive and inaccessible. The competition for affordable art is fragmented with sporadic art fairs and some interior decoration stores, for example Artilleriet in Sweden, doing one-off art collaborations. 

American online art galleries, like Tappan Collective and Uprise Art, have proven successful and are both highlighted by Forbes as the new way of buying art. The European market is still untapped and fragmented, giving a great potential to fill an empty space. 

Unique differentiator from competitors

We have a unique talent for finding exceptional emerging artists and together with them develop artworks signified by creativity and craftsmanship. This curation is unparalleled and can't be found among the competition, especially not to our affordable prices. We are also on the forefront internationally in offering new types of artworks such as sculptures, wooden artworks and collages.

In most cases The Ode To has exclusive right to sell the artists’ artworks, meaning we don't compete with others on similar products. This gives our customers a trustworthy and inspiring place to find something special that is not available elsewhere.

Company revenue streams

As an ecommerce site our revenue currently stem from the sales of our artworks. We are creating a private label with products designed and commissioned by The Ode To enabling higher margins and the potential of sales through other retailers. We'll also start developing Business-2-Business partnerships with interior designers, which will enable large scale projects like hotels and restaurants. 

We use consignment agreements, meaning artists are paid when a sale is made, allowing for low-risk inventory. The unit economic breakdown for an artwork shows a healthy and lean cost structure with a 44% gross margin. 

Product/service distribution

We sell online through www.theodeto.com and offer occasional pop-up stores that spike awareness and conversion, while being less costly and risky than the crisis-stricken traditional brick-and-mortar stores. Through Direct-2-Consumer selling on the website we avoid costly middlemen and own the relationship with our customers.

Instagram has become the world’s art platform and the main tool in reaching consumers and acquiring new buyers. Social media is the main traffic driver (54% of traffic) to our website. 73% of visits to theodeto.com are made on a mobile device. 

Execution

Previous milestones/traction


  • > 500,000 SEK turnover in less than 12 months with a 2,715 SEK average order value
  • Managed three successful pop-up stores, including our launch vernissage at & Other Stories in Stockholm and an International Women's Day collaboration at The Hoxton Hotel in Amsterdam.
  • Developed a unique and exclusively made assortment by 20 great emerging artists
  • Developed website, brand profile, accounting integration and logistics.
  • Established a successful brand presence and esteemed following:
- Gained > 6,000 social media followers
- Received a 4-page feature in Plaza Interiör, 25 print media features and over 3000 visits from digital referrals

Next key objectives

2019
  • Launch in Norway
  • Increase brand awareness by increasing social media advertising
  • Build B2B test projects
  • Operational support from interns and part-timer
  • Develop in-house assortment with 3-5 products
  • 3-4 pop-ups in Europe

2020
  • Permanent office and showroom in Stockholm
  • Expand in-house assortment to 6-8 products
  • Start selling in-house products via other retailers
  • Regular pop-ups in Europe

2021
  • Launch in the US
  • Have regular B2B partnerships
  • Expand in-house assortment to 10-12 products and distribute to more retailers
  • Regular pop-ups in Europe
  • Robust social media advertising 

Previous Financing

In December 2017 we raised 0,5 MSEK in capital from friends and family. Our first year was spent to get proof of concept and establishing the brand with this first financing. 

Partnerships

Thanks to our retail and fashion backgrounds we have a broad network in the creative industry of photographers, stylists, influencers and magazine editors, for example photographer Mikael Lundblad, stylists Annaleena Leino, Linnéa Salmén, Daniella Witte and Caroline Sandström. We've also collaborated with other brands for pop-up experiences, including & Other Stories, The Hoxton Hotel, TypeO and Temporärt.

Advisors: we have support through Financial Advisors Carlos Lorente and Joakim Tengzelius and accountant Tina Nordgren. 

We're currently doing test B2B partnerships with a an interior design partner, enabling large scale projects like private homes, hotels and restaurants.

Use of funds

1. Increase marketing: do more social media advertising, influencer collaborations and pop-ups.

2. Expand sales channels
  • Showroom: combined office and showroom for customers, bigger assortment and part-timers.
  • New sales markets: launch in Norway and USA
  • B2B partnerships: get large-scale projects through interior design partners

3. In-house production: Development of higher-margin products designed in-house.

4. Operational support and salaries: Get operational support and pay salaries.

Reaching the minimum goal enables increased marketing, in-house production, smaller B2B partnerships and launching in Norway. A bigger investment will increase this further plus setup of a showroom, US launch and hiring part-time operational employees.

Industry Certifications/Awards

We’ve been featured in printed magazines such as Residence, Elle, Milk Magazine, Tidningen Nya Rum, Rum Hemma and ended the year with a four page article in Plaza Interiör. A Merry Mishap, Trendenser, Journelle, The Design Chaser, Elisabeth Heier, Alice Gao and September Edit are som examples of international digital press. 

Return on Investment

We strive to build a long-term successful company where we as founders, our artists and our shareholders can thrive for years to come. We’ll work towards an IPO or partial trade sale within five years. 

Risk Analysis

  • There's always a risk of a large competitor entering the market. We have exclusive right to sell most artworks, meaning they can't be sold elsewhere.

  • Building awareness and credibility takes time and online sales requires high marketing costs. We have great experience of doing clever communication and this investment will enable us to do it to a greater extent.

  • We need to increase sales to cover the overhead costs necessary to start a business. Our unit economics is great with a 44% gross margin and over time this will generate us a great operating profit.