News that a similar service was already successful in the United Kingdom, with an annual turnover of £1.2 million, was a compelling element of the pitch.
There are a couple of reasons why this business was so attractive to Vinny and Gil. With internet connectivity increasingly pervasive, the attractiveness of vintage and antique objects has soared as consumers look for objects with history and meaning.
Secondly, an online valuation service taps into digitalisation, the mega-trend that is affecting an increasing number of business sectors as the internet disrupts traditional business models.
Entertainment has undergone a sea-change in the past decade, thanks to Netflix and Apple’s iTunes content model. Music and movies are easily copied and shared, and news content is readily available to anyone with an internet connection. Online retail is muscling in on bricks and mortar stores, with many consumers choosing to shop at the click of a mouse button.
Now, we’re seeing the digital disruption spreading to sectors many would have thought were already digital-proof. Challengers such as Uber and Airbnb are disrupting the transport and accommodation sectors with smartphone technology, and they’re winning. Because no one outside these two companies thought such disruption was possible, they weren’t prepared for the digital ambush.
It looks like Vinny and Gil are betting that the next disruption may just happen in the antiques market.