A new venture fund from a renowned international brand has made its first portfolio investment.
Luxury art giant Christie’s this month launched Christie’s Ventures, a new fund targeting emerging technologies in the art and crypto spaces, as well as fintech startups.
“The intersections of technology and financial products are increasingly relevant and prevalent, and we believe strongly in the opportunities ahead,” noted Ben Gore, Christie’s Chief Operating Officer.
The venture fund’s initial investment is in Vancouver-based Web 3.0 company LayerZero Labs.
LayerZero reduces friction in a client’s ability to move assets between blockchains, and drew attention from Christie’s Ventures for its “strong vision and business model within a broad addressable market.”
“LayerZero unlocks a future of blockchains without borders,” cofounder Ryan Zarick explained in March. “Users will interact with omni-chain d-Apps that exist on multiple blockchains [which] will seamlessly communicate over LayerZero without the user even realizing it.”
Christie’s Ventures is seeking 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,” according to Devang Thakkar, the newly appointed Global Head of Christie’s Ventures.
BC unicorn LayerZero fits that bill.
“We’ve seen firsthand how Christie’s has been on the forefront of web3 and a pioneer in the space,” observed LayerZero cofounder Bryan Pellegrino. “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.”
Founded in 1766, Christie’s has a long history of fostering innovation, launching technological: online bidding began in 2006 and it was the first international auction house to hold dedicated online-only auctions in 2011.
These days, Christie’s multi-site auction live-streaming with augmented reality tools and support for NFT digital art has made the business “more accessible and resilient,” according to a statement from the firm.
LayerZero Labs was co-founded in 2021 by Pellegrino (CEO), Zarick (CTO), and Caleb Banister (Principal Engineer).