Founder Tim Goodman, a veteran of the Australian auction industry, confirmed to ATG the ten staff at FAB's London headquarters in Finsbury Park have left and arrangements with a wide network of 30 consultant specialists have been terminated.
After two years in development, FAB launched in June with aims of challenging a centuries-old business model with a cost-cutting footloose approach to selling art and antiques at auction.
Goodman hoped to gain traction in the market via an innovative pricing model charging vendor's and buyer's fees of just 5% with an additional fixed fees to cover other charges.
Sales - the first a 50-lot paintings auction scheduled for September 14 - were to be processed through headquarters in Hong Kong to escape sales taxes or artist resale royalties.
Goodman said he had raised $3m in funding (major shareholders include entrepreneurs from Sydney, Bangalore and Beijing) but on July 30 this was withdrawn for reasons he says are not clear to him.
In the Australian press, technological supplier BlackCitrus claimed they had not been paid for their $100,000-a-month of expertise, with backer Stephen Moss also accusing Goodman of lavish spending.
Goodman told ATG expenses had not exceeded those in a budget agreed upon by investors for the first year.
As creditors circle, he is working on a plan to mothball the company and expressed continued confidence in the business model.