International Auctions House Christie’s Invests In Fintech Company Art Money

Christie’s – a world-leading auction house – is entering the world of fintech, Financial Review reports. Its in-house venture capital firm, Christie’s Ventures, has made a non-controlling equity stake in global art fintech company Art Money – the first ever fintech investment in Christie’s Venture’s portfolio.

It’s hoped this is the first exciting step in a business partnership that aims to offer Art Money’s services internationally. Founded by Australian entrepreneur Paul Becker back in 2015, Art Money makes it easier for buyers to afford art, providing them with a generous ten-month interest-free payment plan.

Art Money: A “regtech, finance, and payment solution”

The equity stake will provide Christie’s with Art Money’s “reg-tech, finance, and payment solution” for international art buyers across the globe, including in the UK, US, and Australia – vital during a time of tightening regulation.

Christie’s went ahead with the deal within under twelve months of launching its venture capital arm. And Art Money will, in turn, be able to take a decent share of Christie’s yearly profits – around $1 billion in the next year – therefore helping the art fintech grow its customer base. This is quite the deal for Art Money: Christie’s is one of the biggest names in the art world, generating $3.2 billion in profits in the first half of 2023 alone.

Christie’s made its name in dealing in luxury art of all kinds, from paintings to sculptures. Metal sculptures are particularly striking and currently experiencing a surge in popularity. Louise Bourgeois’ 1996 “Spider,” for instance, recently sold at auction for a record-breaking $32.8 million, including fees. The towering bronze spider stands over ten feet tall and is over 18 feet wide.

A Solution To Tightening Regulations

Art Money is currently raising a Series A-2 round with the help of Acova Capital – an advisory firm based in Sydney, Australia, which was also responsible for arranging the Christie’s deal. The fintech company is currently backed by a mix of customers, art galleries, and high-net-worth investors, as well as three institutions – in addition to CEO Becker himself.

Art Money Pitch Deck

Art Money’s pitch deck focuses on “positioning itself as the global passport to transact, with a funding solution attached,” Financial Review aptly explains.

Art Money aims to provide “best practice fintech” and regtech (AML/KYC services) designed to facilitate a “sustainable creative economy” in the face of an ever-changing art market. Indeed, know-your-client and anti-money laundering regulations are expected to be implemented in all countries around the world sooner rather than later.

Advancements In Regtech

Art is an increasingly popular investment, delivering impressive returns of around 7.6% on average, Forbes reports. However, tracing the history and provenance of each piece has historically been a challenge – therefore increasing the risk of fraud for investors.

Fortunately, advancements in regtech are set to change that. For instance, Deloitte Luxembourg, a professional services firm and part of the Grid EMEA Blockchain Lab, has debuted ArtTracktive: a prototype that relies on blockchain technology to accurately trace the provenance of artworks – with the aim of eradicating the risk of fraud.

Recording The Journey Of A Piece Of Art

The blockchain distributed ledger can be used to record the full journey of a piece of art, including all interactions with relevant involved parties – like certifiers, lenders, and sellers, as well as freight forwarders and customs. Alternatively, Deloitte’s AirMes proof of concept provides an answer to recent regulations that enforce the need for timely reporting on post-trade transactions.

European Market Infrastructure Regulation, Markets In Financial Instruments Regulation, and others involve challenges in terms of data quality, data reconciliation, timing, and cost that a blockchain can address thanks to its immutable shared ledger of pre-reconciled transaction reports”, Deloitte explains on their website.

Investment In Financial Innovation

“We are delighted that Christie’s Ventures has chosen Art Money as one of their first investments in financial innovation,” Art Money CEO Becker says about the deal.

“This validation of our business model will accelerate our vision of increased access to art and an art world that helps shape tomorrow for the better. We are excited to continue growing Art Money’s global reach alongside such an aligned and future-focused partner as Christie’s”.

Lavanya Rathnam

Lavanya Rathnam is an experienced technology, finance, and compliance writer. She combines her keen understanding of regulatory frameworks and industry best practices with exemplary writing skills to communicate complex concepts of Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) in clear and accessible language. Lavanya specializes in creating informative and engaging content that educates and empowers readers to make informed decisions. She also works with different companies in the Web 3.0, blockchain, fintech, and EV industries to assess their products’ compliance with evolving regulations and standards.

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