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Art collector gives $1.5m backing to e-commerce platform Bidsquare

The New York-based auction and e-commerce platform Bidsquare, which was launched in September 2014 and includes live auctions and traditional “buy now” sales, has just raised $1.5m in additional funding from Stephen Smith, a US art and antiques collector. The money will go towards expanding the firm’s presence in the US and international markets, and to develop “website enhancements that will facilitate the discovery of items”, according to a spokeswoman. While traditional dealers have been reluctant to embrace e-commerce as a viable form of business development, the latest industry figures have shown some promising levels of growth. According to the 2016 Hiscox Online Art Trade Report, the online marketplace has grown by 24% to $3.27bn, despite the widely reported global slowdown in the wider art market.