Blockchain may be heavily associated with the financial space, but other use cases are quickly proving their worth.
And Versiart is a company looking to take blockchain in a different direction—by using the technology to prove the worth of works of art.
The firm uses the technology to provide blockchain-backed certifications for artwork, thereby proving a piece’s authenticity. And, today, the company announced it has secured $2 million in seed funding in a round led by Galaxy Digital EOS VC fund, with participation from Sinai Ventures and Rhodium, according to a statement from the firm.
The company said it’s planning to use the funds to expand its engineering and product team and to launch “premium services” for art collectors, gallery owners and artists themselves.
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“With this new round of funding, we’re able to scale our business and ramp up partnership integrations,” Verisart CEO and cofounder Robert Norton said. “The art world is quickly realizing that blockchain provides a new standard in provenance and record keeping.”
Verisart began in 2015 with the goal of applying blockchain technology to physical artwork. It has partnered with enterprises such as Art Systems, eBay and the Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS) and certifies works by some of the world’s leading painters and sculptors, including Ai Weiwei and Shepard Fairey. Weiwei’s sculptures have been featured on the Pulitzer Fountain in New York, while Fairey is a street artist who first rose to prominence with his “Andre the Giant” sticker campaign.
Last year, the company won the “hottest blockchain dapp” award at the Europas, an awards event for tech startups in Europe. In early 2019, it became the first blockchain certification company to work with Shopify. The two firms later created an app designed to provide blockchain certifications to limited-edition collectibles. The app is now available to more than half-a-million stores, according to Verisart.