Matthew Neville

Sustainable NFT platform launches collaboration with twelve “top artists” following £1.9m fundraising

Verse, the new London based NFT platform connecting collectors with “top artists”, has announced its collaboration with twelve artists, curators, and creative tastemakers.

Said collaborators include artists Simon Denny, David Shrigley, Noah Davis, Elena Soboleva, and Tyler Hobbs. The platform is to launch its first selling exhibition, led by Verse’s newly appointed head of exhibitions Leyla Fakhr, former Tate curator and art advisor.

The launch follows a seed raise of $2.4m (approx. £1.9m) from notable angels including Paul Forster (Indeed.com), Ben Stephenson (Impala), Michael Daffey (Galaxy Digital), Jeremy Hindle (Integrity), Nick Shekerdemian (The Venture Collective) and Venrex VC.

Verse was created in response to the “lack of trusted sources” for collectors to find NFTs by artists working today. With Verse, collectors can discover and acquire NFT artworks that have been hand selected by “trusted and reputable” curators, including internationally recognised galleries, institutional curators, experienced NFT collectors and art experts.

The platform also aims to address the technical challenges faced by both collectors and artists in the NFT space through its simplified interface that allows the purchase of NFTs with fiat, as well as crypto, and without the need for a third-party crypto wallet.

Committed to sustainability, Verse’s “state-of-the-art” technology allows the processing of secondary market trades without the need to process blockchain transactions, resulting in low carbon emissions for trades within the platform.

Verse is co-founded by CEO Jamie Gourlay and CTO Augustinas Malinauskas. Gourlay brings to Verse more than a decade of experience in the art world, as co-founder of 10 Hanover, the private advisory dealing in blue chip works by Picasso, Warhol, and other major artists, and as founder of Queen’s Fine Art.

Malinauskas is a physicist-turned-technologist who holds a Masters in Part III Mathematics from the University of Cambridge, and a PhD in Theoretical Particle Physics from the University of Oxford.

Jamie commented: “The art NFT landscape is a minefield for many of the world’s top artists, and it’s not much easier for new collectors. The incumbent NFT platforms make it difficult for the most exciting artworks to get the attention they deserve and for collectors to ensure they’re purchasing from reputable and secure sources.

Verse investor Paul Forster added: “I am delighted to be an investor in Verse and looking forward to seeing some of the most important cultural artefacts being created in the digital realm and made accessible to collectors who aren’t on the Art Basel VIP list!”

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