We started building SuperRare in late 2017– three friends working out of a coffee shop in Brooklyn with the dream of building a new art market designed for the digital age. The idea was simple but powerful: What if we could use NFTs as a way to authenticate and certify digital art? If this was possible, we had the potential to create an open and transparent global market for digital art that anyone in the world could access.
In six short months, the idea was turned into a reality and SuperRare launched on the Ethereum mainnet on April 4th, 2018. We immediately knew we weren’t the only ones excited about the potential: a small but passionate group of artists and collectors quickly formed the core SuperRare community, giving this movement shape, momentum, and just the right amount of craziness. We never looked back.
After three years of building and proving this new market, we are thrilled to announce our $9 million Series A financing round from top-tier investors. The round was led by Velvet Sea Ventures and 1confirmation with participation from Version1, Collaborative Fund, Shrug Capital, Third Kind, The LAO, SamsungNext, BlockTower, AndArt Agency, Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary’s Sound Ventures, Qinwen Wang, Andrew Stienwold, Scott Belsky, Mark Cuban, Marc Benioff, Naval Ravikant, and Chamath Palihapitiya.
The growth in the digital art market in the past three years has been electrifying. In the first year, artists on SuperRare averaged about $8,000 of sales per month. Fast forward to 2021, this figure has exploded by over 31,000% to $25M per month. To date, artists have earned over $30M on SuperRare from primary sales and from secondary market royalties–as artists earn a 10% cut of each subsequent sale of their artwork in the market, for perpetuity.
We are excited to start the next leg of our journey with such an amazing roster of partners.
Velvet Sea Ventures, led by Michael Lazerow, is a pioneer in backing emerging tech, ranging from social platforms to crypto. Michael is a former serial entrepreneur with a founder’s mindset. Immediately after getting to know him and the VSV team, we could tell they shared our vision for creating a new economy for digital creators.
Nick and the 1confirmation team have already proven to be invaluable partners. They bring to the table deep expertise in the blockchain space and a uniquely helpful perspective on myriad issues.
In just three years, the crypto art market has already grown to be a global phenomenon over $400M in size. This investment will allow SuperRare to accelerate growth, serving significantly more artists and collectors as digital collecting nears more mainstream adoption.
This focus on growth and acceleration includes several key components. The first is expanding the core features of SuperRare into more scalable, social elements like chat and personalized feeds. The second is continuing to push the envelope when it comes to market mechanics, and auction functionality, as well as extending supported artwork formats further into VR and programmable media. The third is pushing the long-term sustainability of the artworks & ownership by implementing layer-2 scaling solutions — towards multi-century artwork provenance.
Coming on the heels of massive growth in the crypto art sector, we couldn’t be more excited to partner with these stellar investors for our Series A. Art collecting has long been an opaque and exclusive market, inaccessible to most people. For the first time, we have the opportunity to digitize this ancient and inherently human activity, bringing it online for the first time at scale.