Frank Stella's Sharpeville during a press preview on 8 July 2020 in Christie’s New York
© 2022 Getty, Timothy A. Clary
NEW YORK – Today, Christie’s announces the launch of Christie’s Ventures, a new investment fund that will provide financial resources and expert support to Emerging Technology and FinTech companies creating solutions with art market relevancy. Christie’s Ventures will work alongside these portfolio companies to help accelerate their progress, simultaneously advancing Christie’s activities in the presentation, education, and sales of Fine Art and Luxury Goods.
Christie’s Ventures will start by exploring three broad categories: Web3.0 innovation, art related financial products and solutions and technologies that enable seamless consumption of art. Our first portfolio company sits perfectly on this spectrum: LayerZero Labs, a cross-chain interoperability company with a strong vision and business model within a broad addressable market. The company reduces friction in a client’s ability to move assets between blockchains.
Ben Gore, Christie’s Chief Operating Officer, described the motivation for starting Christie’s Ventures: “As a global leader in the art market, Christie’s has both an incentive and a responsibility to further innovation and deepen experiences for our clients. The intersections of technology and financial products are increasingly relevant and prevalent, and we believe strongly in the opportunities ahead. For the companies we select to work with, as well as for our clients, the Christie’s Ventures value proposition combines the power of our brand and capital together with our network and expertise; it is another example of the formidable Christie’s Advantage.”
Devang Thakkar, the newly appointed 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.”
Bryan Pellegrino, LayerZero Co-Founder and CEO, remarked: “LayerZero is incredibly thrilled to partner with Christie’s Ventures. We’ve seen firsthand how Christie’s has been on the forefront of web3 and a pioneer in the space. We look forward to working with their team to find new and innovative ways to create the most accessible, frictionless experience with assets indexed over multiple blockchains.”
Christie’s has a long history of fostering technological innovation, launching online bidding in 2006 and being the first international auction house to hold dedicated online-only auctions in 2011. More recently, Christie’s multi-site auction livestreaming, augmented reality tools, support for NFT digital art and award-winning digital marketing has made the business more accessible and resilient. This week, on July 19th and 20th, Christie’s Art+Tech Summit series premieres its fifth iteration in New York, offering a premier platform for audiences and market leaders to explore thought-provoking ideas and engage in dialogue between industries. Christie’s Ventures will build upon these experiences to further cement Christie’s position as a leader in its field.
About LayerZero Labs
Founded in 2021, LayerZero’s vision is to create a community of cross-chain developers, building decentralized applications that are no longer constrained by individual blockchain capabilities. With LayerZero's simple, generic messaging protocol, builders will develop cross-chain decentralized applications designed to unify the power of individual blockchains.
Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business with a physical presence in 46 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, and flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. Renowned and trusted for our expert live and online-only auctions, as well as bespoke Private Sales, Christie’s unparalleled network of specialists offers our clients a full portfolio of global services, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $500 to over $100 million. Christie’s has sold 8 of the 10 most important single-owner collections in history, achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction, launched the first fully on-chain auction platform dedicated to exceptional NFT art and manages an investment fund to support innovative startups in the art market. Christie’s is also committed to advancing responsible culture throughout its business and communities worldwide. To learn more, browse, bid, discover, and join us for the best of art and luxury at christies.com or by downloading Christie’s apps.
* Please note when quoting estimates above that other fees will apply in addition to the hammer price - see Section D of the Conditions of Sale at the back of the sale catalogue. *Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium.