Tech Firm Mojito Receives $20 Million Funding from Sotheby’s and Others

Bob Coiney

October 25, 2021

As the world continues to embrace crypto in the ongoing digital revolution, Sotheby’s, one of the world’s leading art and luxury auction houses, has reportedly joined a $20 million seed round investment in Delaware-based NFT studio Mojito. The fundraising was led by Future Perfect Ventures and had other participating investors such as Creative Artists Agency, venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates, Moore Strategic Ventures, plus CMT Digital and Sfermion.

Sotheby’s recently announced that its new platform, Sotheby’s Metaverse, is powered by Mojito, bringing Mojito out of stealth mode. Visitors can examine digital artworks up for auction as well as learn about the collectors and artists behind NFTs using the technology.

This recent investment has raised Mojito’s valuation to $100 million and will also add Future Perfect partner Jalak Jobanputra as a member of the company’s board. The NFT studio has more plans to expand its platform and enter new partnerships in the coming days. According to reports, Mojito intends to use the new funds to expand its engineering staff to continue developing the Mojito platform, as well as to secure new partnerships in order to produce brand-specific non-fungible tokens (NFT) markets that operate differently than today’s Amazon and eBay-style platforms.

Sotheby’s NFT Adventure

As digital art continues to gain traction, Sotheby’s joins the growing number of traditional art dealers and collectors who are integrating NFTs as part of their services. However, Sotheby’s is pushing its relationship with digital art to the next level by investing in a crypto startup for the first time, relying on the success and widespread adoption of NFTs and other crypto-assets as serious marketable items.

Speaking of their latest ambition, Charles F. Stewart, Sotheby’s CEO, explained the firm’s new interest in digital arts and the mission to focus its effort in this area. He said, “we believe in the future of using blockchain to expand ownership of digital assets. There is a huge amount of focus and interest in NFTs. We hear about these categories from most of our existing clients and collectors, but we are also engaging with a rather large new audience who is very focused on this category. Sotheby’s mission is to promote access and ownership of exceptional art and luxury objects, so focusing and developing this area makes a lot of sense.”

Sotheby to go all out

Five months after its first NFT auction, Sotheby’s appears to have gone all out for the NFT space. At first, its earlier auction was seen as a one-off adventure, but it looks like it has now become their main focus. Showing their NFT ambition, Sotheby’s debuted their NFT marketplace, Sotheby’s Metaverse, last week, as well as a new curated sale, Natively Digital 1.2: The Collectors, which will be open for bidding until October 26. The auction contains 53 works from the collections of 19 renowned collectors, including NFT Girl, Steve Aoki, AOI, and Paris Hilton, and is a follow-up to Sotheby’s inaugural NFT sale, Natively Digital. 

Also, the marketplace allows bidders to pay in ether, bitcoin, and USDC cryptocurrencies, as well as fiat currencies, in addition to tracking assets on the Ethereum blockchain. Both Mojito and Sotheby’s are looking forward to their new partnership as they hope to become a huge player in the NFT scene together.