Artifact Labs, a company that creates non-fungible tokens based on historical events, announced that it has raised $3.25 million in seed funding. Blue Pool Capital, which invests money on behalf of Alibaba co-founders Jack Ma and Joe Tsai, led the round, which also saw participation from Web3 giant Animoca Brands.
Artifact Labs said it plans to use the money to expand its operations, including adding more developers. The company is known for producing NFTs based on historical events, such as the 1997 handover of Hong Kong to China. It was once a department within the main Hong Kong English newspaper, South China Morning Post, before spinning off into an independent company.
Phillip Pon, CEO of Artifact Labs, said in a statement that the seed funding raise is not about creating “hype” NFT collections. Instead, the company wants to instill an interest in younger generations for history and solidify on-chain preservation of historical events through non-fungible tokens.
As a department within the South China Morning Post from 2021 to 2022, it created NFTs using the cover pages of that newspaper. Aside from the Hong Kong handover, some of the events it has used in its NFTs include the Avian flu outbreak, the Asian financial crisis, and the death of the United Kingdom’s Princess Diana.
Now, the company has two goals: to release full NFT collections to build a revenue stream and to help culturally significant organizations enter Web3 with their own sets, presumably surrounding history-based non-fungible tokens.
Artifact Labs to Launch Decentralized NFT Marketplace
While Artifact Labs may not be well-known in the NFT space just yet (it’s a small, Hong Kong-based company), it has made plenty of moves in the past year that indicate it’s starting to build momentum. And one of those moves may have a big payoff: the building of a decentralized NFT marketplace.
In April 2023, the company announced that it had purchased the tech stack of NFT platform Refinable for an undisclosed sum. According to a press release at that time, access to Refinable’s code will allow Artifact Labs to accelerate its product roadmap, including the building of an NFT marketplace.
During the announcement, the company noted that it wouldn’t try to compete with OpenSea or other large, general marketplaces. Instead, its market would be niche-focused, presumably on NFTs that double as historical artifacts. The marketplace may incorporate Artifact Labs’ own NFTs and the non-fungible tokens of the “culturally significant” organizations it serves.
To that end, Artifact Labs recently partnered with RMS Titanic Inc. to bring that organization into Web3. As part of the deal, Artifact Labs will preserve roughly 5,500 artifacts recovered from the ocean liner, turning them into immutable non-fungible tokens that live on the blockchain. It will also give rise to a Web3 Titanic community and eventually give exclusive benefits for holders.
In case you missed it: