Artmarket.com to explore launch of NFT marketplace

By Raffaele Redi

The Euronext-listed firm’s announcement received a positive reaction from investors

NFT written across a $100 bill                                 
Artmarket.com is looking at NFT options – Photo: PRNewsfoto/Artmarket.com
                                

The Euronext Paris-listed Artmarket.com is exploring the launch of its Metaverse, a non-fungible-token (NFT) marketplace.

According to Artmarket.com, all options are on the table, including the possibility of a partnership with a major NFT platform.

“This would generate huge savings in time and the economies of scale would therefore produce an immediate financial gain with a rapid boost in net income that would be added to a distinctly profitable balance sheet. This would therefore be a significant growth driver,” said Artmarket.com in a statement.

The other option would see Artmarket.com set up its own NFT platform that would integrate all the processes and industrial services under one operation. According to the company, the domain names are already registered as artprice-nft.com and artmarket-nft.com.

“Since 1987, our group has developed an unparalleled legitimacy in the knowledge of the art market but also in knowledge of its cyber dimensions. Indeed, we have made a major contribution to the development of the art market’s digital sphere, notably by dematerialising and elucidating this historically opaque market,” said Thierry Ehrmann, Artmarket.com’s CEO and founder of Artprice and Server group.

The investors’ reaction

For almost a year, Artmarket.com’s project has been reportedly the subject of several offers for partnerships, mergers, acquisitions (both partial or complete), in the light of the emerging market for NFTs.

The announcement prompted a positive reaction from investors on the Paris stock index, with the share price of the company increasing by 14.5% at around midday. French company Artmarket.com is now trading, at the time of writing (14:30 GMT), higher by 9.2% at €7.09.

The share price rise comes after a difficult 2020 for the company when it was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The global lockdown had a negative impact on the art market despite a shift to online sales. Rival online company Artnet witnessed a fall in total revenue of 1% or $284,000 to $21.5m compared with the 2019 income of $21.8m.

“A significant drop in advertising revenue offset strong growth at Artnet Auctions due to increasing demand for online transactions. Luxury brands and art businesses cut their marketing budgets and postponed ad campaigns because of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Artnet in a statement.

The art NFT market

Artmarket.com has been monitoring the art market’s economy with its exponential development since 2000.

“Online sales are now an integral part of auction house strategies. Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips have dematerialised just over half of their operations. But it’s not just the major ones; the online proportion for the world’s auction houses taken as a whole is currently 41% for 2021. A new step has been taken with the thunderous arrival of NFTs,” said Artmarket.com.

According to Artprice’s Contemporary Art Market Annual Report, contemporary art auctions reached a historic turnover level of $2.7bn in the 2020/21 period, from the end of June to the beginning of July, boosted by NFTs and online auctions.

Further reading: Christie’s auctions HUMAN ONE by NFT artist Beeple for $29m

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