A lot of talk has been made about verifying valuable items on an immutable blockchain, but the main pioneer in this space has been Verisart, which appeared a few years ago to use a blockchain to create certification for the fine art and collectibles market. But despite the blockchain hype of the last few years, Verisart eschewed the fund-raising bonanza, preferring instead to perfect its model and build partnerships.
That changes today with the news that it has raised $2.5 million in seed financing in a round led by Galaxy Digital EOS VC Fund. Further investment has come from existing investors Sinai Ventures and Rhodium. The funding will be used to expand Verisart’s commercial platform for authentication and further expand in the art world.
Co-Founder and CEO Robert Norton commented: “With this new round of funding, we’re able to scale our business and ramp up our partnership integrations. The art world is quickly realizing that blockchain provides a new standard in provenance and record-keeping and we’re looking forward to extending these services to the industry.”
The $325mm Galaxy EOS VC Fund is a partnership between Galaxy Digital, a blockchain-focused merchant bank, and Block.one, the publisher of EOSIO, the blockchain protocol.
The funding will go towards extending the product and engineering team and launching a suite of premium services aimed at artists, galleries and collectors. The company recently appointed Paul Duncan, formerly the founding CTO of Borro, the online lending platform for luxury assets, to lead the engineering team.
In 2015, Verisart was the first company to apply blockchain technology to the physical art and collectibles market. It’s also working with some of the world’s best-known artists including Ai Wei Wei and Shepard Fairey to certify their works of art. In 2018, Verisart won the ‘Hottest Blockchain DApp’ award at The Europas, the European tech startup awards.
It’s also been the first blockchain certification provider on Shopify to offer digital certification for limited editions, artworks and collectibles.
Other players are now entering this growing blockchain-for-art market. Codex Protocol is a new startup also putting art on the blockchain.