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Lobus raises $6 million for a blockchain-based art management app

The goal is to offer artist some extra earnings when art changes hands.

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One of the blockchain’s most obvious real-world use cases has been reshaping ownership proofs in the fine art markets. However, as top auction houses have welcomed NFTs and well-known artists have experimented with the crypto medium in recent months, the future has appeared more real than ever.

Lobus is hoping to commoditize blockchain technology with an asset management platform that they hope will bring creator-friendly mechanisms from NFT marketplaces like SuperRare to the physical art world as well, enabling art owners to retain partial ownership of the works they sell so that they can profit from secondary transactions down the road. Although physical art sellers have become accustomed to selling 100% of their work and watching the value increase over time as it changes hands, Lobus’s aim is for artists to retain fractional ownership during those sales, ensuring that they receive a commission on future sales.

Lobus co-CEO Sarah Wendell Sherrill says, “We’re just on a quest to transform artists into owners.” “We’re taking the best of what NFTs have to say about ownership and wondering if we can help build new ownership structures and disrupt this asset class.”

The startup is encapsulating these new mechanics in a broad art asset management framework, with the goal of luring users away from today’s aging legacy tech suites. Lobus aims to offer the art industry its own Carta-like tech framework that is approachable to the broader market by combining robust ownership proofs with a CRM, analytics platform, and tools like dynamic pricing.

Lobus claims that the company has raised $6 million in funding from investors such as Upside Capital, 8VC, Franklin Templeton, Dream Machine, Weekend Fund, and BoostVC. Rob Hayes, Troy Carter, Suzy Ryoo, Rebecca and Cal Henderson, Henry Ward, and Lex Sokolin are among the Angels competing in the round.

A major priority for the team has been to concentrate on what their technology will bring to their network of art owners rather than the nuances of knowing what blockchain is. Although the recent NFT boom has resulted in billions of dollars in revenue, projects like Lobus are attempting to cross-pollinate the mechanics of crypto art with the mainstream art market in order to get all stakeholders on the same page. Lobus has sold their site to collectors, artist estates, and fund managers, in addition to having relationships with about 300 successful artists.

Lobus currently has about 45,000 art objects in its database, with a total asset valuation of $5.4 billion across physical and digital objects.

NFT

OpenSea and Kakao’s Klaytn collaborate to expand NFT across Asia

Klaytn, a Singapore-based public blockchain platform, and OpenSea, a non-fungible token (NFT) market, established a cooperation on Friday to support the Asian NFT ecosystem.

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  • In order to showcase Asian NFT initiatives to a worldwide audience, the alliance involves conference collaborations and ecosystem awards.
  • The largest NFT marketplace in the world supports four blockchains: Klaytn, Polygon, Solana, and Ethereum.
  • The blockchain subsidiary of South Korean internet behemoth Kakao, Ground X, founded the Klaytn Foundation.
  • On its central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot project, the Bank of Korea collaborates with Ground X.

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Projects

Shopify Expands Online Retailers’ NFT-Gated Options

Brands are able to increase the exclusivity of their shops thanks to the e-commerce platform.

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The future of e-commerce, according to Shopify, is in NFTs.

As a new option for brands wishing to make their stores more exclusive, the online retail behemoth, which enables small businesses to construct customized e-commerce shops, is providing NFT-gated storefronts, Shopify announced on Wednesday.

In the Shopify introduction video, which includes a skating woman who passes through a pastel portal and transforms into a Doodles NFT, a voiceover urges viewers to “invite their communities into a world that acknowledges and rewards devotion.”

The video explains that token holders can access special shopping opportunities by connecting a cryptocurrency wallet, including early access to drops and limited collections as well as one-of-a-kind experiences and other surprises.

Only individuals with existing NFT collections are able to apply for early access to Shopify’s “gm” shop, which is a gated merchandise store and a play on the Crypto Twitter acronym for “good morning.”

However, those that haven’t received approval yet can still integrate NFT token-gating apps like Shopthru or Single into their Shopify sites.

Shopify announced that it has already collaborated with the Adam Bomb Squad, Doodles, World of Women, Invisible Friends, Superplastic, Stapleverse, and Cool Cats NFT collections to develop token-gated shops as part of its token-gated business launch.

Shopify is introducing “IRL” token-gating in brick-and-mortar stores in addition to online token-gating, which restricts access to certain merchandise to authorized NFT holders exclusively.

Why is this important? The future of Web3 commerce will focus on exclusivity, for one thing. NFTs, which are distinctive blockchain tokens that denote ownership over an asset, are increasingly employed as membership cards, tickets to events, and “keys” to open benefits, despite the fact that they are frequently oversimplified as digital art or “jpgs.”

Additionally, this isn’t Shopify’s first venture into NFTs: The business has been involved with Web3 since last year, when it announced the launch of NFT sales on its platform. Brands can mine and sell NFTs on Shopify to clients using the Ethereum, Polygon, Solana, or Flow platforms.

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Projects

OpenSea, beware—Uniswap is pushing into NFTs

The NFT aggregation platform Genie is being purchased by Uniswap Labs, the organization that created the Ethereum-based decentralized exchange Uniswap.

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In a Bankless interview on Tuesday, Uniswap founder and CEO Hayden Adams said, “We’re attempting to transfer what we brought to the ERC-20 market to the NFT sector.”

You can buy NFTs—individual blockchain tokens that represent ownership—on a variety of different marketplaces, such as OpenSea, LooksRare, or Coinbase NFT. However, few allow consumers to buy many things at once, and none provide aggregation tools that let traders view listings on competing marketplaces.

According to Uniswap Labs on Twitter, “We see NFTs as another form of value in the burgeoning digital economy, and it’s a no-brainer for us to integrate them.”

The NFT aggregator Gem, which also enables customers to acquire numerous NFTs in a single transaction, was purchased by OpenSea just two months prior to the announcement of its acquisition by Genie. OpenSea intends to incorporate NFT aggregation functions into its primary platform, just like Uniswap.

A new tab dedicated to NFTs will be added to Uniswap’s main website later this year as part of the company’s push into NFTs, according to a statement from the company. Additionally, NFTs will be included in its developers’ APIs and widgets.

Uniswap Labs intends to airdrop an unspecified quantity of the stablecoin USDC to Genie’s early backers as a way to commemorate its acquisition. By April 15th, USDC will be given to everybody who had utilized the platform at least once or owned a Genie Genesis NFT. (The business had earlier tweeted that Genie Gem owners were eligible for the airdrop.)

Uniswap entered the NFT market for the first time in 2019 with Unisocks, an NFT that granted holders access to a real pair of socks.

The largest NFT market, OpenSea, has a floor price for Unisocks of 13 ETH (about $15,300) at the time of writing.

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