Ethan Appleby wants to get away from a world where everyone has the same Ikea print in their flat. He’s the founder of Vango - a startup that connects aspiring artists with novice art buyers. They’re currently making $1.6 million in revenue and hoping to grow this year. Listen in to hear Nathan and Ethan talk making art accessible, setting up a successful marketplace, and why Ethan’s raised three funding rounds via convertible note.
Favorite Book? – Zero to One
What CEO do you follow? — Stewart Butterfield
Favourite online tool? —5None
Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be?— To take the step sooner to get into entrepreneurship
Time Stamped Show Notes:
01:10 – Nathan’s introduction
01:51 – Welcoming Ethan to the show
02:00 – Vango is a marketplace that connects artists and art buyers. It makes money by taking 30% of every transaction
02:50 – “Art is something people are intrigued by, but intimidated by”
03:16 – Before starting Vango, Ethan was a Design Thinking consultant
03:54 – Started in 2013 - first-year revenue was zero
04:23 – As of March 2016, 20,000 sellers have an active profile
05:00 – Targeting new art buyers - around 100,000 buyers on their platform in total
05:45 – “We’re hustling every month to get new sales”
06:35 – Currently have a team of 12
06:44 – Raised around $3 million through 500 Startups
07:10 – All raised via convertible notes
07:55 – Convertible notes let you take funding without worrying about valuation
09:10 – “We like to help people engage with art directly”
09:44 – Total revenue in 2015 was $1.6 million
10:10 – Biggest cost is the team
10:45 – In March 2016, about 800 buyers and 320 sellers
11:25 – Once an artist sells 10 pieces, their likelihood to sell increases
12:18 – The benefit to artists comes from higher traffic
13:30 – Average order value on on Vango is $575
14:20 – Connect with Ethan via email or on twitter
16:05 – The Famous Five
3 Key Points:
Get started. Create your business now.
To get sales, you need to hustle. Keep moving and building momentum
Art is an area where a marketplace to connect buyers and sellers directly has room to take off
Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
Freshbooks - The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he's driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.
Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives