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Artfact Raises $13 Million of Growth Capital From Commonwealth and Ascent

(Boston, MA) – Artfact, the world’s leading online live auction marketplace announced today that it closed on $13 million of growth capital financing provided by Boston-based Commonwealth Capital Ventures and Ascent Venture Partners. Simultaneously, Artfact merged with Auctionzip, the world’s largest directory of live auction listings. In addition to facilitating the merger, the growth capital funding will be used to expand product development, marketing, and sales efforts.

Artfact and Auctionzip provide over 16,000 estate auctioneers of all sizes worldwide with a complete range of technology and marketing services including online live bidding, and integrated auction management software. Through their websites Auctionzip.com, Artfact.com, and Invaluable.com, the companies allow 2 million art, antiques, and collectible dealers and collectors unprecedented access to search over 160,000 estate auctions each year with a combined value of over $25 billion.

Adam Kirsch, Chairman and CEO of Artfact said, “The investment by Commonwealth and Ascent marks an important milestone for Artfact, and punctuates an exciting first year of growth in Arfact Live and Invaluable Live, our live auctions marketplaces for estate auctioneers. We are eager to have the support of two distinguished partners as we look forward to the launch of Auctionzip Live, and the SaaS version of our RFC auction management software in 2010.”

“Artfact and Auctionzip are the clear leaders in auction listings, live auction technology, auction management software, and auction data. We are excited to invest with Adam Kirsch and his team as they create the dominant global live auctions marketplace complete with the first true SaaS version of auction management software,” commented Jeffrey Hurst, General Partner and Co-Founder of Commonwealth Capital Ventures.

Geoff Oblak, General Partner of Ascent Venture Capital, added, “Artfact’s merger with Auctionzip immediately strengthens the position of both companies within the live auctions market. Auctionzip’s unparalleled position with over 15,000 auctioneers in the U.S. is a terrific complement to Artfact’s position as the premium provider of online technology and marketing solutions to the top 1,000 international auction houses.”

About Commonwealth Capital Ventures:
Commonwealth Capital Ventures (www.commonwealthvc.com) was founded in 1995 by a team of experienced venture capital investors. With more than $580 million of committed capital under management, the firm’s partners have invested in roughly 140 high-growth companies, many of which are leaders in their respective industry categories.

About Ascent Venture Partners:
Ascent Venture Partners (www.ascentvp.com) has been investing in early stage, emerging technology companies since 1985. In backing over 100 companies, Ascent has remained committed to its mission of investing in exceptional entrepreneurs striving to build innovative market leaders. With over 90 years of combined venture capital experience, the Ascent investment team is currently investing out of its fifth fund.

About Artfact and Auctionzip:
Founded in 1989, Artfact is the largest global marketplace of fine and decorative arts, antiques, collectibles, and estate auctions. On January 1, 2009, Artfact launched Artfact Live! and Invaluable Live!, its proprietary live auction bidding platforms, enabling more than 1 million knowledgeable collectors and dealers to bid in real-time at more than 150 prestigious auction houses.

Auctionzip is the world’s largest directory of live auction listings. Founded in 2003, Auctionzip lists more than 160,000 estate auctions from 15,000 auctioneers in the U.S. and Canada each year. Auctionzip attracts more than 1.2 million unique visitors per month and is the go-to destination for collectors and dealers in the estate auctions and collectibles market.

Artfact's industry-leading RFC auction management software assists prestigious art and estate auction houses around the world to manage their businesses effectively; its auction price databases of 55 million complete auction results with more than $200 billion in value allow auctioneers and bidders to better evaluate art, antiques, and collectibles.

Editor’s Notes:
- Additional background information available.
- Interviews with Adam Kirsch, Chairman and CEO, Artfact +1 (617) 746-9810
- Complimentary media subscriptions to the Artfact database available.

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