Christie’s Enters Venture Capital with New Fund for Tech Startups – artnet News | Candle Made Easy

Having previously helped bring NFT art into the mainstream with the $69 million sale of Beeple’s Everyday life – The first 5,000 days, Christie’s continues to expand into the intersection of art and technology with a new startup investment fund.

The launch of the new division, called Christie’s Ventures, is aimed at “emerging technology and fintech companies” connected to the art market. As an in-house investment firm, it will provide both financial support and advice to its portfolio companies, with the ultimate goal of finding better ways to sell fine art and luxury goods.

“As a global leader in the art marketplace, Christie’s has both an incentive and a responsibility to drive innovation and deepen experiences for our customers,” said Ben Gore, Christie’s chief operating officer, in a statement. “The intersection of technology and financial products is becoming more relevant and pervasive, and we firmly believe in the opportunities ahead.”

beep, Everyday life – The first 5000 days. Courtesy of the artist and Christie’s.

The news comes at what some are calling the start of a “crypto winter,” which has seen cryptocurrency prices plummet over the past few months. Christie’s sold less than $5 million in NFTs in the first six months of 2022, compared to $93.2 million in the same period last year. (It also just lost its NFT rainmaker Noah Davis to YugaLabs, the creator of Bored Ape Yacht Club’s NFTs.)

The first company Christie’s Ventures will fund is LayerZero Labs, which helps consumers move assets across different blockchains, giving Christie’s customers more flexibility in managing their assets, for example.

In practice, this could mean switching an NFT minted and sold on the Ethereum blockchain to a greener alternative.

LayerZero, which announced $135 million in funding in March, will also allow cross-chain developers to build decentralized applications, or dApps, that work across different blockchains. For example, the OpenSea NFT platform is limited to Ethereum’s blockchain capabilities. A similar LayerZero dApp would allow users to sell their NFTs on different blockchains.

Kevin McCoy, <em>Quantum Leap: Dark Star</em> seen on nine transparent OLED signage screens at Frieze New York 2022. Photo courtesy of LG.  ” width=”1024″ height=”661″ srcset=”https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/07/LG3-1024×661.webp 1024w, https://news.artnet.com /app/news-upload/2022/07/LG3-300×194.webp 300w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/07/LG3-1536×992.webp 1536w, https://news .artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/07/LG3-50×32.webp 50w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/07/LG3-1920×1239.webp 1920w, https ://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/07/LG3.webp 2048w” sizes=”(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px”/></p>
<p id=kevin mccoy, Quantum Leap: Dark Star seen on nine transparent OLED signage screens at Frieze New York 2022. Photo courtesy of LG.

“We saw firsthand how Christie’s was at the forefront of web3 and a pioneer in this space,” said Bryan Pellegrino, co-founder and CEO of LayerZero, in a statement. “We look forward to working with their team to find new and innovative ways to create the most accessible, frictionless experience with assets indexed across multiple blockchains.”

Christie’s has appointed Devang Thakkar as Global Head of Ventures. He will work with the Ventures Investment Committee, a small group of Christie’s executives including Gore and CEO Guillaume Cerutti, to select prospective Ventures companies.

The fund’s initial focus will be on categories of Web3 innovations (ie cryptocurrencies, NFTs and DAOs), arts-related financial products and technologies for viewing arts.

Ein Hologramm von Edgar Degas' <em>Petite danseuse de quatorze ans</em> (1927), which was on display at Christie’s San Francisco and Hong Kong stores.  Photo courtesy of Christie’s.” width=”768″ height=”1024″ srcset=”https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/04/A2DE0E76-AFEE-4715-A888-20C98C109E80 -768×1024.jpeg 768w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/04/A2DE0E76-AFEE-4715-A888-20C98C109E80-225×300.jpeg 225w, https://news.artnet.com /app/news-upload/2022/04/A2DE0E76-AFEE-4715-A888-20C98C109E80-38×50.jpeg 38w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/04/A2DE0E76-AFEE- 4715-A888-20C98C109E80.jpeg 1000w” sizes=”(max-width: 768px) 100vw, 768px”/></p>
<p id=A hologram of Edgar Degas Petite danseuse de quatorze ans (1927), which was on display at Christie’s San Francisco and Hong Kong offices. Photo courtesy of Christie’s.

Examples of the latter could be fancy screens for showcasing digital art, like LG Electronics’ exhibit at Frieze New York, or hologram company Christie’s, which was commissioned in April to project images of Edgar Degas’ famous bronze ballerina Petite danseuse de quatorze ans at its Hong Kong and San Francisco showrooms in lieu of an expensive world tour.

Other technological advances that Ventures may find worthy of funding could relate to cybersecurity and protecting digital wallets and their assets from malicious hackers. (Maybe they could have helped Seth Green.)

Christie’s hasn’t released a dollar figure for its venture capitalism venture, other than saying it will be in the millions of dollars. The company noted that it has a history of being quick to embrace new technological advances, such as the introduction of online bidding in 2006 and online-only auctions in 2011. Christie’s fifth annual Art and Tech Summit series is taking place this week , on July 19 instead of July 20.

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