On Monday, Christie’s announced that it has launched Christie’s Ventures, a new investment fund with the goal of supporting emerging technology companies operating in the digital art market.
The goal of Christie’s Ventures
Christie’s Ventures will put the focus on 3 distinct areas: Web3.0, thus NFTs, Crypto and Blockchain in general, art-related financial products, and technologies that enable seamless consumption of art.
The first company that Christie’s will fund will be LayerZero Labs, which has been working on systems that allow customers to move resources more easily between blockchains. The move by Christie’s follows a concerted push by the auction house to gain ground in art technology
The amount that Christie’s wants to invest in the project has not been disclosed, but it will be several million dollars. The company has shown that it has historically been quick to adopt new technological advances, such as the introduction of online bidding in 2006 and online-only asps in 2011
Other technological advances that Ventures might deem worthy of funding could relate to cybersecurity and the protection of digital wallets and assets from malicious hackers.
What is Christie’s
Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a leading global art and luxury goods company. Renowned and trusted for its live and online auctions as well as its custom private sales, Christie’s offers a comprehensive portfolio of global services to its clients, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate, and education.
The auction house was one of the first to understand the impact NFTs could have on the art market, quickly organizing NFT sales that would end up profoundly changing the auction house and the broader art market.
The March 2021 sale of digital artist Beeple’s artwork Everydays: “The First 5,000 Days”, sold for a record $69.3 million.
“Due to Beeple, we received a entrance row seat at what was being constructed technologically, from a few of the folks on this very room”,
said Devang Thakkar, global head of Christie’s Ventures.
Meanwhile, Christie’s Art+Tech Summit, an annual two-day conference, is being held in New York these days.