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TurningArt, Boston startup that rents and sells original art, adds $1.5 million in new funding

Posted by Scott Kirsner  May 23, 2012 08:00 AM

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Boston startup TurningArt is announcing today that it has raised an additional $1.5 million in funding. The round includes NextView Ventures, a VC firm that happens to be based in the same Leather District building as TurningArt.

The company operates a subscription service, starting at $10 a month, that sends you new prints to hang in a company-supplied frame whenever you request them. TurningArt will also sell you a framed print that you especially like (for $100), or let you apply your monthly subscription fees toward the purchase of an original work.

The new funding, according to founder Jason Gracilieri, "will allow us to expand the team, the collection [of artwork], and the delivery options. We want to have the definitive catalogue of independent artwork, and help facilitate the in-home discovery and buying experience for art." The company has six employees, and is growing, Gracilieri says.

"We've now served thousands of customers, and we can say we have customers in all 48 continental U.S. states," he says. With the new funding round, Fouad ElNaggar, a senior vice president at CBS Interactive and ex-VC, will join TurningArt's board. TurningArt raised a seed round of $750,000 in March 2011.

Back in February, I wrote about my experience as a TurningArt customer. And last December, I mentioned the company in a Globe column about art-related startups in Boston.

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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