At MSC R&D we work with some of the most innovative companies, bringing the benefits of technology to existing and new markets - the Art world is one such example.


Artfinder aims to let people build an online profile of art they like and explore the art world to discover new contemporary artists and purchase directly from them.

The vision of Artfinder is to build a world where people interested in art can be easily connected directly with independent artists around the world and purchase original art, no matter their taste and budget. Every single piece is original and signed by the artist, carrying its own unique story.

In its present form Artfinder is unique in that no other online art supplier allows the buyer to deal direct with the artist.


R&D is critical to Artfinder’s success as it strives to optimise the customer journey. Unlike most retail products, art is very subjective, both in terms how you describe the attributes of every single piece of art and in terms of understanding the subjective tastes of individuals. Building a picture of a person in order to make more relevant recommendations is technically very challenging and key to maximising sales and customer retention.


Prior to 2016, Artfinder hadn’t claimed R&D Tax Credits. Recognising a missed opportunity, MSC R&D were brought in on the recommendation of the Finance Director and tasked to review back to 2014.

Two of our experts – Dr Colin Smythe (PhD in Computer Science) and John Doherty (FCA) spent a day with the Artfinder team identifying eligible projects and accessing relevant financial data. Substantial elements of previously unclaimed R&D were uncovered and recorded in a detailed report for submission to HMRC.

The extensive documentation prepared by MSC R&D ensured that Artfinder’s sizeable six figure claim to HMRC was optimised and fully compliant with HMRC rules, ensuring its successful processing was a formality.  

Not only was the MSC R&D approach able to minimise the disruption to Artfinder’s ongoing day-to-day activities, it also laid the foundations for an efficient claims process in future years.

As a result MSC R&D continue to be Artfinder’s preferred advisor.


“R&D is the business – our success depends on being able to make our customers’ journey as enjoyable and frictionless as possible. The quicker they find what they really want, the more satisfied they are.

Bringing MSC R&D in was one of the best business decisions we have made in recent years. There is no doubt that year on year Colin and John have delivered a smooth, lean and very quick process, with optimum results. But that is not the only benefit we have gained from working with them.

Having the same two highly knowledgeable and experienced experts working with us year on year has also taught the company a lot about our own R&D processes, prompting us to question and refine them. Our R&D project planning and implementation has moved on significantly.”

Michal Szczesny – CEO Artfinder