Ippolita Rostagno’s Artemest, a fledgling online retail marketplace for luxury Italian-made goods, raised $1.2 million in seed funding from investors in the U.S. and Europe led by angel investor association, Italian Angels for Growth.
Other investors in the Milan-based company include Americans Alina Lundry and Kirstie Steiner, Italian investment firm Rancilio Cube and venture capital holding company Shark Bites, whose main shareholder is Fabio Cannavale.
Rostagno, better known for her jewelry line Ippolita, launched Artemest in October 2015 with the aim of helping Italian artisans and craftspeople compete on a global scale.
Artemest cofounder Marco Credendino said the new funding will go to expanding the company’s presence in the U.S. and the U.K. and to increase the number of artisans selling goods on the site, which will “strengthen our position as the biggest online network of luxury manufacturers.”
As for IAG’s leading investment in Artemis, Marco De Guzzis of the investor association said it’s “proud” to have invested in “the best bridge between Italian local excellence and the worldwide luxury market, which asks for intrinsic value and tradition.”
De Guzzis added: “We are sure that Artemest is a really effective answer to this rising demand of the market.”
Currently Artemest is selling products from 230 independent Italian designers, with goods including home, lifestyle and jewelry, the latter two of which are growing areas for the company.
Prices for the site’s approximately 5,000 current products range from about $90 to $230,000 and many goods are customizable to an extent.
Artemest noted that its average customer purchase is around $1,700 and, while only an online store, shortly after its launch in late 2015 it joined the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book, through which it sold an art-focused tour of Italy for $150,000.