It seemed like a good idea at the time but, as it turns out, offering a service to connect artists and exhibition spaces doesn’t work so well in Germany. At least not for A Space for Art GmbH, the startup backed by Berlin company builder Team Europe. First founded in London at the end of 2012, A Space For Art aims to bring artists and exhibition spaces together both offline and online.
As recently as May this year, A Space For Art told online magazine Gründerszenethat it had scaled successfully and established itself as a strong brand in the art industry – indicating a rosy future. Now it’s clear that the startup fell short of its expectations in Germany, as a shareholders’ resolution from 31 October reveals. According to the document, A Space for Art GmbH has now been dissolved.
The reason? Team Europe partner Lukasz Gadowski claims it’s a “non-existent product market fit in Germany/Berlin.” However, “A Space For Art will now focus on London, where it is a good fit”. There, the company will be led by cofounder Charles Smedley. German cofounder Christian Kaul has revealed on his LinkedIn profile that he’s left the startup, something Gadowski confirmed to Gründerszene. A Space For Art didn’t reveal to what degree Team Europe would now be involved.
The company experienced a short lifespan in Germany, launching a mere six months ago complete with an extravagant event hosted in luxury Berlin location Hotel de Rome. The founding team, made up of Christian Kaul (ex-head of Groupon in Australia and Airbnb in the UK), Charles Smedley (who provided the idea for A Space For Art), Mathias Kutzner (ex-HitFox CTO, ex-SponsorPay CTO) and Selim Varol (art collector and entrepreneur), appeared to have the expertise to build the company. Plus, with Team Europe backing and a seed funding round of €750,000, the startup was also financially secure – though it turns out this wasn’t enough to turn the German company into a success.
Gadowski has denied that Team Europe’s new strategy and narrower focus, which they announced in summer this year, led to the liquidation of A Space For Art GmbH. In the course of the restructuring, the company builder sold shares in MisterSpex, iPotentials, Projecter and most recently in Mymuesli, among others.
Translated by Michelle Kuepper