British auction house Christie’s is forming Christie’s Ventures, an in-house investment organization, to provide financial support and guidance to several portfolio FinTech companies.
More precisely, the new organization will concentrate on three major categories: Web3 (which includes non-fungible tokens, cryptocurrencies, and blockchains), art-related financial products, and technology that enables seamless art consumption.
LayerZero Labs, which has built tools that allow clients to move assets more quickly between blockchains, is the first company Christie’s will fund.
Devang Thakkar, Global Head of Christie’s Ventures, said: “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. 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.”
Christie’s has a long history of promoting technological innovation, beginning with the introduction of online bidding in 2006 and becoming the first international auction house to host dedicated internet-only auctions in 2011.
Christie’s recent innovations include the landmark sale of the first NFT for a digital piece of art ever sold at a major auction house (Beeple’s Everydays, March 2021), as well as the acceptance of cryptocurrencies as a form of payment.