London-Based Auction House Christie’s Rolls Out Web3-Focused Venture-Capital Arm

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The new venture-capital arm will focus on emerging technologies, including Web3 and art-related financial solutions.

Christie’s, a London-based auction house founded in 1766, has recently announced that it would be launching a new investment fund, dubbed Christie’s Ventures, to explore Web3 innovation, art-related fintech products, and tech that enables coherent consumption of art.

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According to the official announcement issued on July 18th, the company is planning to provide support for Web3-driven emerging technology and fintech startups that are interested in “art-related financial products and solutions.”

As stated by Christie’s, the firm has already invested an undisclosed amount of capital in LayerZero Labs, a Canadian-based omnichain interoperability protocol, uniting decentralized applications (dApps) across numerous blockchains. In other words, LayerZero will eventually allow people to move assets between different blockchains, including Ethereum, Solana, and Algorand.

Devang Thakkar, global head of Christie’s Ventures, noted that the venture-capital arm will allow the company to form strong relationships with talented entrepreneurs that have expertise in building high-quality products. He added:

“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.”

Likewise, LayerZero’s CEO Bryan Pellegrino also mentioned that the company is looking forward to working with Christie’s, which has been constantly exploring the Web3 space. He believes that the partnership will pave the way for the interoperability protocol to create a “frictionless experience with assets indexed over multiple blockchains.”

The news arrives in the midst of the crypto bear market, as global funding for startups has declined 23% in the Q2 of 2022 from the Q1, with $108.5B invested across 7,651 deals. However, Thakkar underlined that the harsh market conditions make it “a little more realistic to invest in this space – the fog of speculation and high-price points have tapered down a bit.”

In fact, this isn’t Christie’s first foray into the crypto space, as last year, the firm managed to raise over $69M after it sold Mike Winkelmann’s NFT during an auction.

Gyth L. - Crypto Analyst

by Gyth L. – Crypto Analyst, BitDegree


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