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Christie’s startup, aims tech in Art!

The world’s largest auction house is starting its own in-house venture-capital firm, Christie’s Ventures.

Amid strong art market, the auction house plunges into tech startups at a time when other venture capitalists are pulling back

The world’s largest auction house said it is starting its own in-house investing firm, Christie’s Ventures, and will aim to supply seed funding to young companies whose technologies could ultimately help collectors buy and sell more art, mainly digital

Tweet on Christie’s going digital 


Christie’s move comes as the recent crash in crypto and the broader selloff in tech stocks have compelled traditional venture-capital firms to pull back from risky bets on startups.

Christie’s, which recently reported strong sales, said it plans to invest at least several million dollars in multiple startups in the coming weeks. The company said it has already invested an undisclosed sum into one Canadian startup, LayerZero Labs, that seeks to help people spend or move their digital assets like cryptocurrency across disparate blockchains.

Christie’s is seeking companies, potentially capable of solving problems that have long impeded the art trade. Mr. Thakkar said these could include technologies designed to help resolve authenticity disputes and track and catalog art owners more efficiently.

*Christi’s tweet on global art sales


Christie’s $69 million sale of artist Beeple’s digital collage in early 2020 proved a wake-up call for the auction house to pay closer attention to the intersection of art and technology

  • Christie’s said its investments will extend beyond the realm of NFT art, sales of which have shriveled lately.
  • Christie’s own sales of NFTs fell from $93.2 million during the first half of 2021 to less than $5 million during the first half of this year.

Other tools include those to more safely store and sell digital assets such as art-carrying NFTs, or nonfungible tokens that act like digital receipts.

Image: Christies inc