Blockchain startup Verisart raises $2.5m to combat art fraud

By Lucy Ingham

Verisart, a startup applying blockchain to the arts and collectibles industry, has announced that it has raised $2.5m in a seed funding round.

The round was led by Galaxy Digital EOS VC Fund, with additional funding from Sinai Ventures and Rhodium, both of which have already provided Verisart with pre-seed investment.

The funding will enable the startup to further its efforts in the arts and collectibles space, where it is already using blockchain to certify and verify art in a bid to combat fraud.

This will include expanding its partnerships with existing organisations and artists and launching a range of premium services targeted at artists, galleries and collectors.

“With this new round of funding, we’re able to scale our business and ramp up our partnership integrations,” said Robert Norton, co-founder and CEO of Verisart.

“The art world is quickly realising that blockchain provides a new standard in provenance and record keeping and we’re looking forward to extending these services to the industry.”

How Verisart is combatting art fraud

Founded in 2015, Verisart’s technology uses image recognition, distributed ledger technology and what it calls “museum-grade certification standards” to enable collectibles and artworks to be registered and tracked.

This ensures that registered works can be verified as authentic, in order to prevent fakes from being passed off as genuine.

Verisart has already established a number of partnerships to enable its blockchain-based technology to be used to track and certify art.

This includes partnerships with eBay, Art Systems and the Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS). The startup also became Shopify’s first blockchain certification provider earlier this year, enabling individual stores to offer digital certification for art, collectibles and limited-edition products.

Verisart has also collaborated with a number of high-profile artists, including Ai Wei Wei and Shepard Fairey.

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