Christie’s Launches New Venture Fund to Invest in Web3, Emerging Technologies and Fintech

The auction house will support companies that create solutions relevant to the art market.
Image source: Christie’s

Quick take:

  • The venture fund will explore Web 3, art-related fintech products and technologies that enable seamless art consumption.
  • The fund has successfully closed its first investment in LayerZero Labs.
  • The new fund will also advance Christie’s activities in the presentation, education, and sales of fine art and luxury goods.

British auction house, Christie’s, today announced the launch of Christie’s Ventures, a new investment fund that will provide financial support to Web3, emerging technologies and fintech companies that create solutions relevant to the art market.

Christie’s Ventures kicked off with the closing of its first investment in Web3 startup, LayerZero labs, an omnichain interoperability protocol that unites decentralized applications across disparate blockchains, reducing friction in a client’s ability to move assets between blockchains.

Explaining its decision to invest in LayerZero, the auction house said that the protocol sits perfectly on this spectrum of Web3 and emerging technologies that further the consumption of art.

In March, LayerZero raised $135 million in a funding round co-led by Sequoia Capital, FTX Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz. Recently, the company teamed up with omnichain NFT infrastructure provider, Holograph, to enable NFT transactions to enable multichain NFT transactions.

“LayerZero is incredibly thrilled to partner with Christie’s Ventures. We’ve seen firsthand how Christie’s has been on the forefront of web3 and a pioneer in the space. We look forward to working with their team to find new and innovative ways to create the most accessible, frictionless experience with assets indexed over multiple blockchains,” said Bryan Pellegrino, LayerZero co-founder and CEO.

Besides providing financial resources and expert support to accelerate the progress of its portfolio companies, Christie’s Ventures will be simultaneously taking this opportunity to advance its activities in the presentation, education, and sales of fine art and luxury goods.

“We will focus on products and services which can solve real business challenges, improve client experiences, and expand growth opportunities, both across the art market directly and for interactions with it,” said Devang Thakkar, the newly appointed Global Head of Christie’s Ventures. “Our leadership has provided us with an excellent vantage point thus far and the launch of Christie’s Ventures will allow us to develop further and faster with entrepreneurs who have a strong track record of building great products and companies.”

The auction house declined to disclose the size of the new venture fund. A spokesperson for Christie’s said that all the capital is coming from the auction house and there is no external capital. The venture fund is predominantly focused on Seed and Series A rounds.

Christie’s has been carving out a niche for itself in the NFT space, first with the famous auction of the Beeple NFT for $69 million in March last year, and then a collection of nine CryptoPunks in two months later.

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