International Finance
EntrepreneursMagazineSeptember - October 2018

Happening Technologies: Art, Tech and much more

Happening Technologies: Art, Tech and much more

From Luxembourg, a country nestled in the Northwestern Europe, a young startup named Happening Technologies was founded by Adeline Pilon, who is an art enthusiast studying in ESCP Europe at the time. There is a lot of passion seen in Pilon’s efforts to replenish the ‘value’ of art market—both ancient and recent. In fact, the company offers a platform for 100,000 artists from the early 1800s to the present-time.

Creative men and women from around the world look deep into social ethos over centuries to create an immersive way of depicting life. This extraordinary evolution of art deserves special focus. To not provide that focus is doing an injustice to not only the artist but more so to the art if the creative world don’t establish a grandstand view of what it truly is.

Happening Technologies is willed to contribute heavily to art—with a dedication to bring attention from collectors, spectators, galleries, auction houses, family offices, private banks and insurers. “The art market is opaque, but often proves to be a source of financial performance. Technology today makes it possible to create a link between the actors,” Pilon said.

Technology has vastly contributed to many facets of human works—with its application indulging a myriad of professions, from the the history of scientific investigation to mechanics of automobiles to the rise of architectural structures. In this context, the imminent breakthroughs in deploying artificial intelligence can encourage so many artists and others over the years. After all, “artificial Intelligence combined with historical knowledge of art” is one way to “demystify a market” that once struggled to recognise its own identity and become an attractive source of investment. Investors are always in search of versatile markets: where there is short-term change in stock patterns and no blemished valuations after large-scale quantitative easing. Pilon intends to transform the art market into a ‘full-fledged asset class’ by using artificial intelligence. In turn, this can help the market to win transparency in global finance.

The global art market is valued at over $63.7 billion. This means, more than 8000 galleries and 260 fairs play a significant role in market contribution. “There’s real scope there. The art market is hard-pressed to self-finance, so to facilitate its development it is necessary to find other forms of liquidity. The two fields of art and finance are sizing each other up whilst trying to fill an informational gap,” she added. It is at this very moment when Happening Technologies stepped in to reinforce possible financial opportunities for both investors and art market. Indeed, the company’s concentration of experts in art history, investment, data management and artificial intelligence is luring influencers from all directions. It has even established a strategic partnership with Luxembourg Institute of Sciences and Technologies which specialises in data management.

This year Happening Technologies launched its first AI-enabled product: Artist Profiles. Its ‘data-visualisation’ has been launched in a web format and it will soon be released in a mobile format. It is “thus a quantitative database allowing each artist to propose different variables that make up the value of the artists and thus to measure the risk associated with it, the size and depth of their market, and the intermediaries from whom to sell or buy at best a work,” Pilon emphasised.

Artist Profiles enables users to make quantified analyses on 80% of the art market in terms of ‘value’ and pursues it to provide informational efficiency—which is in a similar degree to what Bloomberg does for stock markets. In reference to this, she said: “We’re working on this market because it’s the most dynamic nowadays. It represents over 80% of its value. We’ve also decided to add design and decorative arts, and, over time, we will be able to push the art eras back to ancient times, and eventually integrate all collectable items.”

When artists use the platform they are empowered to immortalise their presence in the market and at the same time frame the future by building a niche space for themselves. The data implemented is more than hard data—so even auction results, market trends, artist’s exhibitions, location of the highest number of sales and price evaluations are catalogued for the benefit of everyone in the art business.

The platform is largely focused on five elements that furnish the correct information to anyone engaging in art business. First: where the artist is exhibiting the work and in what style. Second: sufficient media coverage about the artist and in what language it is available. Internet: online visibility into the journey of the artist. Fourth: where can collectors buy the collection by a particular artist. Fifth: insights from auction houses about the results on artist’s collection, price volatility and liquidity.  

“For this, we have collected, processed and analysed information collected from the media and art market agents, and so are able to offer analysis on: price, reputation in the media, frequency of exhibitions, auction sales results, gallery weightings, evolution of popularity…For advising fortune management, Artist Profiles is thus a tool which allows its users to speak in quantitative terms, but also to understand their client’s estate and the associated risks,” Pilon said.

Continuing further, Pilon explained: “The initial parameters are expanding day by day thanks to the algorithm we’ve developed. We’re working on this market because it’s the most dynamic nowadays. It represents over 80% of its value.” So, at this point the company plans to further the platform’s capabilities by incorporating other features such as “design and decorative arts,” and some day “be able to push the art eras back to ancient times, and eventually integrate all collectable items.”

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