Artmyn, the Swiss startup that develops scanning technology for artwork, has raised 4 million CHF (about €3.6 million) in convertible notes, co-led by its year-long partner Invaluable, an online marketplace for fine arts, and existing private investors.
Artmyn set out in 2014 to revolutionize how artwork is experienced on screen, enhancing perception and understanding of the piece beneath its visible surface and beyond a typical 2D image. The company’s scanners produce an interactive ultra-high resolution view of the artwork with over 1.5 billion pixels, and an immersive video, browsable with different light orientations, under visible light and ultraviolet. Along with the new funding, the company has announced a brand new infrared scanning technology, which captures underlayers, sketches and markings underneath the “finished product.”
“Until today in the art world, infrared analysis was reserved to rare works, and upon request only – Artmyn not only automizes this procedure during the scanning process, but also makes it completely safe, and at no additional cost. As a result, we expect a lot of unforeseen discoveries, from secret touch ups and preliminary drawings to hidden signatures or dates, to an entire painting hidden underneath the surface of a canvas. This of course, is a major step forward for when it comes to expertisation, authentication and the overall available information about an artwork,” said co-founder and CEO Alexandre Catsicas.
Such non-invasive scanning technology ensures the authenticity and condition of a piece of art, as it moves through the global art market: shipment, storage, restoration, and other events. In terms of security and transparency, the scanner generates a digital fingerprint that makes the original artwork impossible to forge. The digital file facilitates research and identification in case of theft, disappearance, or damage.
As for its effect on the art market, the technology is designed to “fluidify” the art market and boost online sales. Invaluable CEO Rob Weisberg explained: “This technology will give our auction house partners a new, powerful and unique tool to win consignments, drive sell-through, and vastly improve the digital art buying experience. It adds value at all stages of an auction house sale-cycle. This investment also directly addresses two critical areas in the online art market: transparency and buyer confidence.”
Weisberg, who will join Artmyn’s board, continued: “We’re excited to invest in Artmyn because the combination of its incredible technology with Invaluable’s marketplace of the world’s top auction houses will revolutionize the art market. It will allow auction houses to treat every artwork like a masterpiece.”
The funding will power further scanning technology developments, as well as the manufacture and distribution of scanners to more auction houses in Europe and the US via strategic partnerships with Geneva Free-Ports and Invaluable Arts.