Christie’s launches venture capital fund for Web3 and blockchain investments

Christie’s, the auction house known for its sales of art and luxury items, has launched an investment fund to support emerging companies with technology that enables “transparent art consumption”.

In an announcement on Monday, the auction company said the fund, Christie’s Ventures, will financially support companies in the Web3, “art-related financial products and solutions”, and technology related to art and luxury goods. According to Christie’s, its first investment will be in LayerZero Labs, a company developing solutions to enable omnichain decentralized applications, enabling more seamless transfer of assets between blockchains.

“We will focus on products and services that can solve real business challenges, improve customer experience and expand growth opportunities, both directly in the art market and for interactions with it,” said said Devang Thakkar, global head of Christie’s Ventures.

Related: Christie’s NFT expert at the head of CryptoPunks, a fake heiress launches an NFT collection

The shift to blockchain-related investments represented another step for Christie’s to support businesses in the crypto space. In 2021, the company held an auction for a non-fungible work of art by Mike Winkelmann, also known as Beeple, raising over $69 million. Since then, he has held several high profile sales for NFT artworks and partnered with online marketplace OpenSea for on-chain auctions.

2022 is shaping up to be a banner year for blockchain venture capital funding. As Cointelegraph reported, blockchain and crypto-focused companies raised $14.8 billion in the first quarter of the year, nearly half of 2021 totals. Due to the bear market, Web3 and Metaverse-focused startups continue to attract significant capital.

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