"startbahn" is an online art platform designed for environments fulfilling the following two conditions.

  • Artworks are produced, traded and evaluated with sufficient "sustainability".
  • A new "art in the Internet age" can be emerged in addition to existing artworks.
In the background, we have social problems such that only a few people aspiring to become artists can earn enough money just by selling their artworks, and current online art trading cannot necessarily provide the long-term career development for them.
In order to solve these problems, "startbahn" introduces several properties which existing services have not considered.


In order for the problems above, startbahn adopts two explicit functions: "two kinds of auctions" and "re-distribution system".

Two kinds of auctions

startbahn is composed of "primary" and "secondary" auctions.

The former is the auction to sell original works by artists, and the latter is the auction to resell artworks purchased once. startbahn promotes an activation of online art transaction through the interaction of both auctions.


Primary auction is a closed-type auction, and bidders cannot know the amount of bidding price other than their own. In addition, at the primary auction, the seller arbitrary selects the successful bidder after the auction period, regardless of their bidding prices. That is, artists can choose buyer while referring to candidates's profile, collection and past transaction history in startbahn.

* In this figure, even though account C is bidding with the maximum price, the seller can select successful bidders from four bidders A, B, C, D.

On the other hand, the secondary auction follows a general bidding format. Both bidder and the bidding price are all in public, and the bidder with the highest price will automatically chosen as the successful bidder after the end of auction period.

* As dipicted in the figure, account D who is bidding with the highest price is the successful bidder.

Re-distribution system

A fraction of the successful bid amount at the secondary auction will be re-distributed to the artists' account.

This distribution occurs every time a transaction is made at the secondary auction, and the artist can repeatedly receive distribution rewards. It should be note that the distribution ratio fluctuates in the range of 0 to 20% according to the activity of artist's account.


Since such a system reduces transaction margin, it may seem like a burden from the standpoint of trading. However, the system would have the potential for promoting transaction if we took the following points into account.

  • Artists can reduce the initial selling price at the primary auction by considering future redistribution rewards.
  • Collector obtains lower psychological resistance on re-selling the work purchased once to the secondary auction.

A fraction of the successful bid amount at the primary and secondary auctions will be re-distributed to the account that wrote the review contributed to the deal.

At startbahn, it is possible to write a review to the works posted in the service. If reviews were attached to auctioned works, bidders could choose one review that felt best from among those. When an auction is established, then, a fixed fraction of the successful bid amount will be paid for the account who wrote the review. (7% at the primary auction and 5% at the secondary auction each.)


Through such systems, we aim to ensure the artistic value of the posted artworks and to form an essential critic space having sufficient effects on transactions of the works.

* A series of major inventions centering on this "redistribution system" has acquired patents in Japan in March 2009 and in the United States in December 2011.

* If auctioned artwork did not have any reviews, startbahn would receive the amount equivalent to the re-distribution money as commission fee.


The general public could have grand art collections

For example, if collectors who possess much spaces meet large sculptures destined to be discarded due to the lack of storage space, they will be able to make outdoor spaces for sculpture and exhibit their works. This could be beneficial for both artists and collectors; artists who are blessed with exhibition opportunities obtain more carriers, collectors with well-stocked artworks have increased their credibility in startbahn and are more likely to be the successful bidder at the primary auction.

An ordinary cafe becomes a famous art spot

For example, it is possible for cafe owners to use startbahn for exchanging exhibits each month. If the exhibition leads to the popularity on startbahn, the cafe owner is more likely to be successful bidder at the primary auction; futhermore, since the cafe exhibition itself could add more value to the works, he possibly gains profit in some cases through transactions.

Little by little stacking becomes property and supports further development

For example, if you draw one drawing every day and can sell it even on average about 3,000 yen, the total amount of the year will be over 1 million yen (3,000 yen * 365 days = 1,095,000 yen). As the time goes by, the archive increases leading to the more re-distribution money, name recognition and price of the work, it may become possible to live just by artist activities several years later.

Supporting large painting production with long span.

For example, it may be possible to create production expenses by selling studies and Esquises required with the production of large paintings little by little. In the process, you can also strengthen the relationship between that work and your fans. Furthermore, If the activity became popular before the work is finished, it will contribute greatly to the improving cognition of your exhibition and the sale of the paintings.

For fundraising of art projects having the difficulty of monetize

For example, if you make good use of the startbahn mechanism (represented by selling related drawings) in order for the art projects that are difficult to monetize, project popularity and fundraising will possibly be improved. In addition, the properties will certainly contribute to successive projects that you can archive the works, obtain re-distributed money and let users see other works by tracing the link.

Confirm the artwork's condition after sale

For example, if you would like to do a retrospective exhibition or to create a collection of previous works, it gets much easier to confirm current owner and the location of your works because of the traceability on startbahn.

It will also compatible with state-of-the-art digital devices

For example, if startbahn will become compatible with the position information system in the digital device, you can obtain various information: exhibition being held at a place close to the current position, pieces of work being sold there, the artist's past works and reviewer's evaluation.

From identification to sustainable support

For example, startbahn makes it easier to watch over the growth of painters encountered on the street and to support their activities. In the future, by taking a picture of the exhibited work and comparing it with the database of startbahn, it will be possible to track the information of the work such as owner's itinerant history.

Supporting the formation of local communities

For example, if the number of users living in local areas increases, startbahn may also help to form local-based communities. If the communities grew, the possibility of emerging important art movement from local cities would be increased. Many exhibitions making use of wide land and abundant natural materials might be born.

Although the above is just examples, once a virtuous circulation occurs at startbahn, it could lead to further virtuous circulation as described above. We ourselves are also looking forward to seeing how startbahn will be used and grow in the future.

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