L Catterton, a joint venture between French-owned luxury goods company LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) and Catterton, Entrée Capital, and Pico Venture Partners led the round. In addition, other leading artists, art collectors, museums, gallerists, and trustees at institutions such as MoMA and the Guggenheim also joined the round. Shalom Mckenzie—who recently purchased a Cryptopunk, one of the first non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the Ethereum blockchain—for USD 11.75 million was another investor.
Niio will use its capital to grow its artist community and scale its app-enabled subscription and purchase platform, which is blockchain-based and will include a trading-enabled marketplace for NFTs and other digital art assets.
“Digital art has become an accepted, mainstream medium, with the market accelerating largely due to the explosive growth of NFTs,” said Niio CEO and co-founder Rob Anders, reported TechCrunch. “The transformation people are experiencing is the most significant and consequential moment for culture in decades, making new kinds of art accessible and experienced on screens in ways like never before.”
Niio has tapped into the surge in interest in digital art, which has allowed the company to be a partner with Samsung, as well as a collection of investors at the intersection of art, technology, collecting, and consumer experiences, meaning that the artwork appears in all kinds of commercial spaces.
It was this potential to democratize digital art by enabling its reproduction on screens that drew Samsung to Niio.
“Samsung is constantly looking for new ways to allow businesses to engage customers, while remaining true to their core values,” said Hyesung Ha, senior vice president of Samsung’s visual display business. “This partnership with Niio will allow users to transform their spaces with stunning, versatile digital canvases that display the very best in digital art.”
Anders and co-founder Oren Moshe established Niio in Tel Aviv in 2014, and the latter was enthused about the progress the company is making. “We’ve realized our vision for a platform that first and foremost empowers artists and enables their work to be experienced digitally and available globally. We are gratified by the trust that more than 6,000 artists have placed in us, as we enable them to publish, manage, protect, and monetize their life’s work.”
Consumers use Niio’s open platform to experience digital art, whether purchased on Niio or elsewhere, with access to a free and paid subscription that is similar to music and entertainment streaming services. The company is set to launch its subscription service at the end of 2021. They can curate their own “art streams” and share the works with others.
With Niio, artists have an end-to-end solution that enables them to realize the full potential of their digital art and NFTs. Crucially, this gives them a way to protect their work.
The article was originally published by NoCamels, a leading news website covering breakthrough innovation from Israel for a global audience.