The art non-fungible token (NFT) space has seen spectacular growth in the last few months. According to DappRadar, NFT sales volume totalled $24.9 billion in 2021 (compared to just $94.9 million the year before) and just hit $15 billion for the month of January this year.
Betting big on the new space, France-based art NFT platform LaCollection has closed a $10 million seed round led by Alven, with participations from Aglaé Ventures (backed by Agache, the holding company of the Arnault family and the controlling shareholder of LVMH), Cygni Capital, Kima Ventures, Artnova, Motier Ventures (the venture Family Office of the Moulin-Houzé family, owner of Galeries Lafayette Group) and Premier Janvier Capital among others.
The funds will be used to further develop the platform, secure partnerships with more museums and artists, keep growing a global team across Europe, Asia and the U.S. and invest in an ambitious social and climate positive plan roadmap.
By working with cultural institutions, the startup is creating a new way of owning digital versions of a physical artwork. Like a limited edition ‘digital lithography’, collectors are now able to own certified digital twins of masterpieces from the world’s greatest museums, galleries and artists.
Launched in September 2021, the startup has entered into an exclusive agreement with The British Museum and achieved a 7-digit revenue in 4 month with an NFT sale dedicated to the work of Japanese painter Katsushika Hokusai.
So how does it work? To start a collection on the startup, users can sign up for an account in seconds and begin purchasing NFT of paintings by Hokusai, Turner and more, using a simple credit card. Each NFT is unique, scarce, and its ownership is publicly verifiable via the Ethereum blockchain. It is a secure and transparent model of digital ownership.
Jean-Sebastien Beaucamps, co-founder and CEO, LaCollection said: “Our ambition is to be the leading platform for new communities of collectors passionate about art, culture and NFTs. The combined expertise of our investors across the art and technology space puts us in a great position to accelerate our partnerships with cultural institutions, sustain our growth rate and scale our unique business model.”
Going forward, the startup will develop more avenues for growth such as secondary marketplaces, curated wallets, the possibility for multi-currency purchases, integration with the Metaverse, play-to-earn as well as virtual and immersive exhibitions. It will also launch a mobile version of its platform.
The company has also tied up with 60-year-old nature-based climate-positive European green tech EcoTree.green. Last year, it raised $400,000 in pre-seed from founders of prominent blockchain unicorns Sorare and Ledger among others.