NEW YORK and BOSTON – LiveAuctioneers, a leading online live-auction source for fine and decorative art, antiques, jewelry and vintage collectibles, has received a strategic investment from Cove Hill Partners, a long-term-oriented private equity firm that manages over $1 billion from its investors and founders. The transaction was finalized this month, according to LiveAuctioneers Executive Chairman Jason Finger, and makes Cove Hill the majority owner of the company.
Cove Hill’s financial commitment will enable deep investment in technology solutions for auction houses, including mobile advertising, custom websites, inventory management, and after-sale processes. Building on the recently announced “Live-to-eBay” partnership that enables after-auction sales to instantly move venue from LiveAuctioneers.com to eBay.com, LiveAuctioneers will also continue to innovate with creative marketing to reach new buyers worldwide.
“LiveAuctioneers excels at bringing new and high-quality buyers to auction houses. We were first-to-market with mobile apps, live-auction video streaming, cryptocurrency acceptance and easy online payments,” said LiveAuctioneers CEO Phil Michaelson. “We also lead the industry with search alerts, timed auctions that feel like live events, and after-sale buy-it-now programs. We will keep innovating so that buying through LiveAuctioneers continues to be a best-in-class experience.”
“We are honored to join the roster of exceptional companies in which Cove Hill has invested,” Michaelson continued. “They are disciplined investors who seek to work with strong management teams and profitable enterprises, and have a history of investing in high-growth technology-enabled businesses. Their long-term capital commitment provides us with the platform to invest in additional capabilities. The additional funding will enable faster time-to-market for functionality and services that accelerate our auction-house partners’ online sales growth and simplify their operations.”
Cove Hill Partners Co-Founder and Managing Director Zack Kaplan said, “After surveying the landscape of businesses across the industry, the decision to partner with Phil and LiveAuctioneers was clear. Our analysis demonstrated that auctioneers who work with LiveAuctioneers generate more consignments and deliver the best results for consignors. This is a direct reflection of the strong leadership team built by Jason and Phil, a highly liquid online marketplace, and the company’s commitment to offering value-added products and services to its auction-house partners,” Kaplan continued. “We look forward to many years of collaboration with Phil, CTO Rob Cummings, and the rest of the LiveAuctioneers team as they enable auction houses to reach a broader audience of bidders and buyers online and across the world.”
Michaelson will continue to lead the company as CEO in delivering measurable results for auction-house partners. Finger will continue to serve on the board of directors.
Harris Williams and DLA Piper advised LiveAuctioneers. Ropes & Gray LLP and PricewaterhouseCoopers represented Cove Hill Partners.
Founded in 2002, LiveAuctioneers digitally connects an audience of millions with the live-bidding action at more than 5,000 premier auction houses and galleries in 59 countries, providing an expertly curated, globally trusted marketplace of exceptional items. LiveAuctioneers is the world’s preferred live online-auction source for fine and decorative art, antiques, jewelry and vintage collectibles. A pioneer in mobile-bidding technology, LiveAuctioneers opened new horizons for bidders in 2009 with its development of both an industry-leading app for iOS (Apple) devices and the first live-auction bidding app for Android.
About Cove Hill Partners
Cove Hill Partners is a long-term-oriented private equity firm focused on partnering with outstanding management teams to build market-leading technology and consumer companies. The firm manages a long-duration fund with over $1 billion of commitments from its investors and founders. The firm was founded in 2017 by seasoned private equity investors to invest their personal capital alongside a small group of like-minded investors. Based in Boston, Cove Hill has an innovative structure that provides the flexibility to enable a patient, concentrated and value-added approach in a small portfolio of long-term investments. More information about Cove Hill Partners can be found at www.covehillpartners.com.
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