Meet "Otis" - The Platform That Lets You Invest In Art, Culture & Sneakers

Meet "Otis" - The Platform That Lets You Invest In Art, Culture & Sneakers

Imagine being able to own shares of your favourite art pieces and collectibles! This platform allows you to do just that - and more. Read on to learn more about "Otis".

Ever wonder why some sneakers and contemporary art pieces are exorbitantly high priced? One main reason is that they hold a cultural significance. They MAKE you feel something - a part of something special.

But not everyone has the luxury to be able to own or hold the piece they like or feel connected to. This is where Otis steps in. It breaks down your favourite pieces into affordable shares and makes them accessible to everyone by providing an opportunity to invest in them.

Founded by Michael Karnjanaprakorn, the previous founder of Skillshare, the idea behind starting Otis was to help everyone become a part of the culture by making it both accessible and attainable. Since certain pieces are either limited in number or just too expensive, breaking them up into shares that everyone can own a part of, helped solve these dilemmas.

By allowing the consumer to invest in items they value and building a portfolio, Otis is revolutionising the way we imagine and perceive art by opening it up to a much larger audience.

The worst (maybe best) part of the creative process is when you are so close to cracking a problem but haven't quite cracked it yet. Startups are never in harmony. Tip too far one way and too risky. Tip too far the other way and not taking enough risk.

Michael Karnjanaprakorn, Founder

Otis sources all their pieces from trusted partners, including prominent galleries, collectors, auction houses and sometimes directly from the artists. The assets are securitised by filing an offering circular with the SEC to offer them publicly.

Before dropping any cultural asset online, Otis makes sure to educate the buyer about the asset through high-quality videos, editorial content and investment decks before they invest. Members can buy shares for as little as $25 and can visit their assets at public spaces around the world where Otis also sets up displays.

If an item is sold, members gain a potential return if the sale price is higher than the price at which they bought their shares. It makes the investment as hassle-free as possible - once the investment is made, the investor does not have to worry about sourcing, analysing, securitising, maintaining or storing the asset. Otis covers it all.

They analyse metrics like short and long-term historical price appreciation, frequency of sales, liquidity to get comfort on the historical performance and potential for future returns while also aiming to purchase at or below Fair Market Value to preserve return potential.

The consumer's share is also insured during both, transport and storage. Insurance is handled by Aspen Insurance and storage by UOVO - when the asset is not on display, it sits in a 650,000+ square feet of climate controlled, museum quality, secured art storage facility. In addition to that, all customer data is encrypted using 256-bit encryption and SSL to make sure any and every investment is as secure as Fort Knox.

Shares of an asset can be liquidated in primarily three fashions - Trade, Asset Sale, and Cash Flows. Currently, a platform is being set up for investors to buy/sell their asset shares.

Post this, if Otis ever plans to sell an asset where a consumer has invested, a poll will be conducted for the investor’s opinion, upon receiving a legitimate offer. The net proceeds of any sale will also be distributed to the shareholders on a pro-rata basis. Additionally, if Otis finds a way to generate revenue from the asset (for example: loaning the work for a display), the subsequent cashflow will be distributed on a pro-rata basis as well.

Otis holds the artists it works with in high regard, just as their shareholders, and gives them equal opportunities to grow alongside the platform.

Artist Initiative , a project inspired by Swizz Beatz’ suggestion of giving artists a percentage of all secondary sale proceeds, was announced by the platform with the aim of giving artists an option to retain 25% of Otis' profits from the resale of their work. This initiative rigorously promotes the creation of a more artist-first industry, with their long-term career and development in focus.

Some of Otis’ most notable offerings include the Jordan 1 "Modern Classics” collection, with prices starting at $32 per share. All in deadstock condition, with original box and accessories, the offer value is at ~5% below the Fair Market Value of $33,648.

Air Jordan 1 “Modern Classics"
Air Jordan 1 “Modern Classics"

I am somewhat surprised by the staying power of the Jordan 1. It seems every new generation of kids has to try it, almost as if they discovered it.

Peter Moore, The Original Designer Of The AJ1.

Otis also has the YEEZY Collection 1 which includes the Red Octobers (DS) at a price of $21 per share, which is ~6% below the current Fair Market Value of $22,500.

To add to the high profile roster, the platform also offers the Murakami x Abloh’s DOB and Arrows: Patchwork Skulls, at a price of $76 per share, which further stands out since it is a primary market purchase made from the Gagosian “AMERICA TOO” 2018 Exhibition.

DOB & Arrows: Patchwork Skulls
DOB & Arrows: Patchwork Skulls

This start up truly is the future of amalgamating the world of investing and finance with art. It is a positive step towards the career development and recognition for artists as well as investors and collectors to be able to broaden their horizons with their purchases.

By creating more jobs in a projected 50 billion-dollar plus industry, Otis is proving that culture, truly is the new asset of today.

Head on over to the official website here, to check out all that they have to offer.

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