I’m excited by our potential. We possess twin forces - our advanced technology and our access to exceptional, rare artwork – and by compounding these we allow people to invest in high-growth asset classes that are usually reserved for the select few. This is an incredibly energising thought, and an exciting one too.
We’re starting with fine art, and hoping to inspire positive strides forward in the market. By eliminating the barrier to entry into art - an asset class with a global, cultural and emotional appeal - Mintus provides investors with a passion point – their own social and cultural capital. In opening up the high-value art market to investors for the first time, we hope to open eyes to the world of contemporary art for investors who may never have even considered the space before.
The assets we intend to promote are unique and traditionally off-limits to the vast majority of investors. Additionally, our cutting-edge technology facilitates scalable, transparent investment within our intuitive, native platform experience. We have the advantage that we own our platform and the technology that sits behind it, so we can develop and expand Mintus’ proposition with agility, through smart audience insights.
We also create the opportunity for artists to participate in the future growth of their artworks through our partial acquisition model, in which the artist retains a share of their original work. In addition to the financial upsides, this model also introduces an artist to new, younger audience demographics, generating cultural momentum.
I ran Microsoft UK Services, helping large UK companies to transform the way they do business – disrupting their business models and creating value. For example, we used AI to forge more meaningful connections between businesses and their customers. Companies need to keep pace with the rapidly changing way that consumers communicate and run their lives; millennials expect the same high standards of tech infrastructure and responsiveness from businesses as they find within their social interactions.
It’s important to me that we leverage our talents to create something of use; something that empowers people financially and gives them economic freedom. This is why I started Mintus. For most investors, the art market sits far out of reach due to lofty price tags, with the most influential assets often sold privately before coming to market. The Art market has been growing faster than many other asset classes like equities, bonds and precious metals but is still inaccesible to most investors. Similarly, it can be difficult to invest in high-income-generating commercial real estate, farmland or development projects because they are bought up by large, powerful institutions. Mintus aims to break down these barriers and democratise art investment.
At one point I ran a large emerging market for Microsoft, and the demographic of this country was very young. In order to create fresh opportunities, I devised a platform called Open Academy - it enabled anyone to use our free online platform to learn how to develop mobile apps, and to generate income if their apps were successful.
At the end of its first year, Open Academy had reached 300,000 people. That figure rose to 500,000 and it became a tool to help our users to find new jobs. It was a fantastic way to equip a very young nation with the knowledge and skills to learn how to code, while providing a pathway to earning independent income. It helped young people to capitalise on their natural technological expertise, helping both themselves and society while shaping their future. I was very proud of what we achieved.
I’ve always taken great pleasure in exploring cities through the lens of their museums and galleries. When I moved to New York after university, I’d spend my Saturday mornings visiting MoMA’s galleries.
The artists that initially appealed to me most were René Magritte and Andy Warhol. Warhol particularly captured my imagination, many years before I had my vision for Mintus. Whether you’re in New York, London or Shanghai, Warhol’s impact on daily life is seen and felt everywhere. He transformed the art world. His enduring legacy is more apparent today than ever with the release of The Andy Warhol Diaries on Netflix, and his iconic Shot Sage Blue Marilyn offered at Christie’s sits in the realms of the most expensive works of art ever sold.
Andy Warhol, more than any other artist, shows the true potential of the art market, and Mintus’ role within it.