London’s largest art and luxury auction house Christie’s announced the launch of its in-house venture capital arm – Christie’s Ventures – on Monday. The VC which is coming up at a time when crypto firms are pulling back is targeted toward tech and blockchain or Web3.0 innovations that promote art.
With Christie’s Ventures kick-off, it will distribute seed funds generated to companies that possess technologies that can assist collectors in purchasing arts easily. The investment firm funds will be core to Web3.0 innovations, fintech-related arts, and solutions that enable seamless consumption of art.
This is the first such investment into a Web3.0 company for Christie’s. For the auction house, its investments in these companies will help promote its operations in the sales of art and luxury goods, education, and other fintech sectors.
The fund has successfully closed its first investment in LayerZero Labs, an interoperability protocol that eases clients the stress of transferring assets from different blockchains. The amount invested in the Web3.0 firm LayerZero has not been publicly declared.
Speaking on the motivation for coming up with Christie’s Ventures, Ben Gore Chief Operating Officer at Christie’s illustrated the development. According to him, Christie’s is a global leader in the art market and has the incentives as well as responsibility to push innovations and deepen experiences for its clients.
He further said that the auction house strongly believe in the future opportunities that would be made available by the increasingly relevant and prevalent intersections of technology and financial products.
The Christie’s Advantage is another opportunity that the partnering firms and other clients stand to gain. This is the combination of the power of Christie’s brand, and capital, as well as its network and expertise. Many of these firms will bolster their growth by riding on this Advantage.
Generally, crypto firms received only $9.3 billion in investment from venture capitalists in the first half of the year. Compared to last year, this is a 26% fall from the $12.5 billion recorded in the same period.
Of this whole VC first half fund, Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) secured a $4.5 billion crypto fund in May, and the new Christie’s Ventures arm can help to prop up the outlook of VCs for the rest of the year.