Artfi, a non-fungible token (NFT) focused startup, on Tuesday said it has raised $3.26 million from a clutch of investors including Sheikha Hend Al Qassemi, a member of the ruling family of Sharjah, and Raza Beig, director of Landmark Group, UAE.
An NFT is a non-interchangable unit of data stored on a blockchain that can be sold or traded.
Several angel investors also contributed to the funding round, said Artfi without disclosing their identities.
The current funding was raised at a valuation of $100 million, the company said.
Artfi, founded by Asif Kamal, will use the fresh capital to build its technology and a dedicated marketplace for fine art NFTs. A portion of the funds will also be deployed to strengthen its product and team.
Kamal said in the statement that Artfi was launched with a vision to make art accessible to everyone. The company will re-sell the art that Artfi holds on behalf of NFT owners and share the profit with each NFT holder who owns shares in the painting, he explained.
"This is an opportunity for people to diversify their portfolios from stocks, Fixed Deposits, etc. and invest in one of the largest asset classes that have outperformed all these traditional investments for over 30 years," he added.
Artfi said that it has already onboarded paintings from eminent personalities including contemporary British artist Sacha Jafri and Indian abstract artist VS Gaitonde.
Last year saw Indian celebrities from Bollywood and cricket launch digital memorabilia through NFTs as the asset grew popular. A few venture capital firms have also come forward to invest in this asset class.
Earlier in April, US-based Alpha Wave Global co-led a seed funding round along with 8i Ventures in NFT startup Revise. Late last year, Kalaari Capital made its first NFT investment in GuardianLink.io.