TRLab, a platform for collecting art in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), raised $4.2 million in a funding round, according to a press release shared with CoinDesk.
The company will use the funds to diversify its collection and add art projects of “varying scope and scale, ranging from full-production genesis drops to curated multi-artist projects united along a common theme, to large-scale editions that integrate shared learning and direct access to artists into the collecting process,” the statement said.The platform is geared towards the higher end of the contemporary art market, with one listed artwork by Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang selling for $2.5 million in July.NFTs saw breakthrough adoption in the world of expensive art last year, and featured in the catalog of world-renowned auction houses like Sotheby’s and Christie’s. Digital artist Beeple sold an NFT for $69 million at a Christie’s auction in March 2021.The new funds bring TRLab’s total fundraising to $6.2 million. Incubated by Dragonfly Capital and launched in May last year, the Hong-Kong based company is co-founded by Xin Li-Cohen, who is also non-executive deputy chairman at Christie’s, and Audrey Ou.The round saw participation from funds including Animoca Brands, one of the world’s most valuable NFT and metaverse venture capital firms, Bertlesmann Asia Investments (BAI), the Asian VC of German media and education conglomerate Bertelsmann, Hong Kong-based Kenetic Capital, INCE Capital, Metapurse, Plutus Capital, StableNode, a project that uses blockchain validator rewards to invest, and Willoughby Capital.From the art world, WhaleShark, the Digital Renaissance Foundation, Pace Gallery and its associated Web3 arm Pace Verso joined the funding, as well as art collectors Adam Lindemann, Pablo Rodriguez-Fraile and Svetlana Kuzmicheva-Uspenskaya. Art entrepreneur Loic Gouzer also joined the round. Private investors like Marc Bhargava, Gabby Dizon, Sabrina Hahn, Andrew Steinwold, Olivia Wang, and Jennifer Zeng, also invested.TRLab plans to announce two new NFT projects, as well as expand its membership benefits, this quarter.