The non-fungible token (NFT) art landscape is a minefield for many of the world’s top artists. According to DappRadar, NFT’s sales volume totaled $24.9 billion in 2021 (up from just $94.9 million the previous year) and just hit $15 billion for January this year. .
Several startups in Europe have jumped on the bandwagon to bridge the gap between the traditional art world and the NFT space – a gap that has limited the number of top artists entering the space. This includes France-based LaCollection, which closed a $10m seed round and Manchester-based KnownOrigin, which raised £3.5m in February this year.
Joining the Ranks, a London-based, art-focused NFT startup Verse raised $2.4 million in funding to connect collectors with top artists. The seed round saw the participation of angel investors, including Paul Forster (Indeed.com), Ben Stephenson (Impala), Michael Daffey (Galaxy Digital), Jeremy Hindle (Integrity), Nick Shekerdemian (The Venture Collective) and Venrex VC.
Founded by Jamie Gourlay and Augustinas Malinauskas, Verse was created in response to the lack of reliable sources for collectors to find NFTs from top artists. The platform enables collectors to discover and acquire NFT artworks that have been hand-selected by trusted curators, including world-renowned galleries, institutional curators, experienced NFT collectors, art experts and other taste makers across arts, culture and NFT spaces.
Verse claims to address the technical challenges faced by collectors and artists in the NFT space with its user-friendly interface that allows NFT to be purchased with fiat, as well as crypto, and without the need for a third-party crypto wallet.
Verse Co-Founder and CEO Jamie Gourlay said, “For artists, just like in the traditional art world, marketing and selling NFT is a huge amount of work and requires specialized knowledge and skills. . The best digital artists in the world are unlikely to make it to the top if they also have to be world class in web3 marketing to do so. So we help artists connect with people who really understand.
Looking ahead, the startup is collaborating with twelve leading artists, curators and tastemakers to launch its first sales exhibition this month.