The internationally acclaimed UK auction house Christie’s today announced the launch of ‘Christie’s Ventures’, an investment fund for fintech companies looking to make technological breakthroughs in the art market.
Christie’s said his new fund “will work alongside portfolio companies to help them accelerate their progression, while advancing Christie’s business in showcasing, educating and selling art and luxury goods.”
The auction house wants to invest in three specific areas: Web3 innovation, art-related financial products and “solutions and technologies that enable transparent art consumption”.
Christie’s also announced its first holding company, LayerZero Laboratories.
LayerZero is an interoperability solution that brings together a community of cross-chain developers to build decentralized applications (dApps) that can navigate seamlessly across different blockchains.
Project co-founder and CEO Bryan Pellegrino said in a statement, “We look forward to working with their team to find new and innovative ways to create the most accessible and seamless experience with indexed assets. across multiple blockchains.”
Christie Web3 Pivot
It may have been founded in 1766, but Christie’s has already carved out a place in fintech history for being one of the few established art auctioneers serving the crypto art market.
In March 2021, crypto artist Beeple created an image every day for 5000 days and turned the entire collection into a non-fungible token (NFT) titled “EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS”, sold at auction via Christie’s for an unprecedented $69.3 million at Whale NFT Metakovan. This was Christie’s first NFT auction.
That summer, Gucci sold its first NFT, a video art piece, through Christie’s for $25,000making it one of the most expensive items ever sold by the fashion giant.
Last November, the auction house auctioned off another Beeple piece called “HUMAN ONE” in a hybrid sale of a physical sculpture and an NFT, raising $29 million.
Christie’s then partnered with the NFT marketplace OpenSea for a series of auctions organized on Ethereum which started last december.
With the venture capital fund now in place, it looks like the auction house will continue to deepen the space.
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