June 23, 2017

Spotlight: Feral Horses Reinvents the Art Investment Firm


Spotlight: Art Investment Firm Feral Horses Looks to Make Art Investing More Accessible

It’s not easy for people to break into the world of art collecting. The prospect can be incredibly expensive and overwhelming. But Feral Horses is a new art investment firm that’s looking to change that.

The company focuses on providing art investment opportunities through trading and acquiring shares of artwork. You can read more about the company in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What the Business Does

Provides art investment opportunities.

CMO Lise Arlot told Small Business Trends, “We are launching an online art trading platform to acquire and trade shares of artworks in Spring 2017.”

Business Niche

Providing benefits for both artists and art owners.

Arlot says, “We manage artworks property from artworks selection to storage, insurance, and transportation for our clients. But, what makes us really different is that we rent the physical artworks in order to generate dividends for the owners and to increase the visibility of the emergent artists we work with.”

How the Business Got Started

By observing the art market.

Arlot says, “The business idea has evolved a lot with the time but what lead us where we are today is our careful observation of the art market. What we realised is that the current art market is too elitist, it lacks transparency, liquidity, and immediacy. The startup is London-based and ran by an Italo-French team in its mid-twenties with very diverse backgrounds from art directory to finance and business management.”

Spotlight: Art Investment Firm Feral Horses Looks to Make Art Investing More Accessible



Biggest Win

Developing important relationships.

Arlot explains, “The biggest “win” so far is our relationship with our artists and our mentors who support us and who are the reasons why we are where we are today. Our philosophy is based on the will to be disruptive and to shake things up in a very traditional and established market, but what keeps us “down to earth” is our business relationships with senior managers and experts in the field. We have successfully managed to share knowledge and skills in an intergenerational manner which makes us really unique and ready to tackle any challenge.”

Biggest Risk

Staying in school.

Arlot says, “The biggest risk we took so far is probably the decision to keep on studying while developing the project. This decision was extremely risky because the startup could have been negatively impacted by our crazy timetables. But in the end, we realises that having a strong academic background is key to be respected in this industry especially due to the fact that we are in our twenties. Our strong academic background is also crucial in order to know when rules should be followed or broken. Consequently, this risk was worth taking because we end up with both strong academic and professional profiles and priceless tips to manage stress and to be flexible!”

How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000

Showcasing artwork.

Arlot says, “We would host a free art exhibition with our complete portfolio of artworks.
One of our main fights is to make sure that artworks are seen and enjoyed. On the long term, we want to open a “Feral foundation” to be able to display the artworks that are in between two rental contracts instead of storing them in a private storage.”

Spotlight: Art Investment Firm Feral Horses Looks to Make Art Investing More Accessible

Communication Strategy

Mixing languages together.

Arlot explains, “We have a secret language that mingles British English, French, and Italian to communicate internally (We are an Italo-French team based in London.)”

Favorite Quote

“Learn the rules like a pro, so that you can break them like an artist.” (Pablo Picasso)

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Find out more about the Small Biz Spotlight program

Images: Feral Horses; Top Image: (left to right) CMO Lise Arlot, CFO Christian De Martin, Art Director Romano Oliveri, CEO Francesco Bellanca

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Annie Pilon - Staff Writer


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found on her personal blog Wattlebird, and exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

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