Schwab and Same were featured in last month’s BRW Young Rich list and are estimated to have a combined wealth of $49 million.
They have an impressive track record of investing in successful disrupter online marketplaces including Seek, Carsales and Menulog, the latter selling in June for $855 million. “Online marketplaces are the ideal disrupter,” Schwab said. “They bring together a huge number of diverse of buyers and sellers, nationally and globally, in an efficient manner. Seek, Menulog and Carsales are perfect examples.” “Turning an inefficient, expensive off-line marketplace, often a lazy monopoly, into an environment that makes it easy for people to transact.” The approximate $500,000 investment will be used to expand the artists on the site and invest in technology and a marketing campaign. Bluethumb already features an impressive array of artists including 2015 Archibald Prize finalist Kim Leutwyler, Waterhouse Prize finalist John Graham and 2014 National University Prize Winner Michael Carney. Bluethumb sell original art directly from Australian artists’ studios (there are over 1000) to buyers around the country. Unlike other online galleries, it’s an open platform so any artist can set up a gallery page and sell on their website and app. “We make it easier to be an artist,” co-founder and managing director Edward Hartley said. “Along with the exposure that comes with the hundreds of thousands of hits we get a month, we remove distractions by marketing our artists and arranging deliveries, leaving our artists to do what they do best.” Last week, Bluethumb launched a new website with improved user experience ahead of competing against 63 countries at the world championships for creative entrepreneurs, the Creative Business Cup. They will represent Australia from 17th to 19th November in Copenhagen after winning QUT Creative Enterprise Australia’s Creative3 Pitch, Australia’s only event dedicated to connecting creative industries’ ventures with investors.