Unlocking the Commercial Potential of Art: A Revolutionary Marketplace for Artists and Businesses
We are excited to announce our investment into Seminal, a trailblazing startup looking to create an equitable copyright register fit for a global, digital world. Investible led the Melbourne-based startup’s $3m Pre-Seed round, with participation from a collective of strategic angel investors.
With a digitally-focused approach to the commercialisation of art, Seminal has a vision to revolutionise the way it is licensed, monetised, and integrated into the brand strategies of other businesses.
How art-related trade works now
Seminal addresses a longstanding challenge in the art world – the untapped commercial value of art intellectual property (IP).
Many artists and estates possess valuable artworks, however once these are sold, the original owners (the owners of the IP), would not derive further benefit from the art (even if the art is bought and sold many times over). In addition, many estates are unaware of the true value of their IP, which is the ability to license, protect, and reproduce art for commercial use.
On the other hand, businesses and brands are seeking to incorporate art into their inventory, boosting sales and brand recognition.
This is where accessibility has been the issue for both artists and businesses. Keith Haring’s, perhaps one of the most commercialised artists in recent times, goal was “getting the work out to the public at large”. Haring accomplished that with drawings in public spaces, most notably in New York subways, which he eventually had to stop because people were taking the subway drawings and selling them. And that’s the hurdle that businesses face, navigating the complexity of intellectual property rights.
Previously, this required navigating complex copyright agencies, creating barriers for both artists and businesses. Seminal's platform utilises Web 3 technology and smart contracts tosimplify this process, enabling artists to protect, license, and sell the copyright to their creations. This empowers businesses to seamlessly incorporate art into their branding while ensuring artists are fairly compensated for usage.
Founded with a mission to help artists unlock the full value of their creations, Seminal’s unique approach uses smart contracts to create a direct and efficient connection between artists and businesses. This approach not only streamlines the process but also ensures traceability and accurate compensation for artists. Additionally, Seminal is pioneering the fractionalisation of art, allowing individual portions of artwork copyright to be sold or licensed, further expanding the market's possibilities. Inherently, this would naturally create a positive feedback loop to increase the value and commercial value of the existing collection.
Not only were we impressed by the product, but Seminal’s visionary founder. Ward Williams grew up in a household reminiscent of a gallery, his passion and involvement for the art scene is apparent the minute you speak with him. Ward’s father, David Williams, owns an eclectic collection of art, from artists of Indonesia, New-Zealand, Mexico, New Guinea, New York, and Australia. This exposure spurred a desire to build a business that empowers artists to take control of their financial futures, so that they can continue to make meaningful works that enrich the world.
How Seminal addresses these issues
Unlocking Commercial Value of Art: Seminal's platform is a pioneer solution that empowers art estates and owners to fully monetise their creative assets. By enabling artists to protect, license, and sell the copyright to their artwork through smart contracts, Seminal creates a seamless way for artists to unlock revenue streams. This approach not only benefits artists but also increases awareness for their work, and its recognition to art buyers in the market.
Direct Access to Digital Reproduction Rights: Their disruptive approach to reproduction rights replaces traditional copyright agencies with a direct connection between businesses and artists. This enables businesses to legally reproduce art for commercial use without the complexity and costs associated with intermediaries. This creates time efficiencies, reduces untraceable transactions and encourages further sales that aren’t restricted to a singular geographic location.
The future of Seminal
Our team was highly impressed by Seminal's innovative offering and the significant value it brings to both artists and businesses. This is not only a first-mover advantage but also a solution that addresses a genuine need in the market. Seminal's tech-enabled approach stands out, eliminating the need for intermediaries and empowering businesses to access digital reproduction rights directly.
We are excited to partner with Seminal as they pave the way for a future where art is seamlessly integrated into branding and commerce. With a visionary team, a unique value proposition, and a novel approach, Seminal is well-positioned to lead the transformation of the art market in the digital age.
The Investible group of companies includes various entities who are corporate authorised representatives (CAR) of Boutique Capital Pty Ltd (BCPL) AFSL 508011. The full list of entities are detailed here.
CAR has taken all reasonable care in producing all the information contained in the website including but not limited to reports, tables, maps, diagrams and photographs. However, CAR will not be responsible for loss or damage arising from the use of this information. The contents of this website should not be used as a substitute for detailed investigations or analysis on any issues or questions the reader wishes to have answered.
You may download the information for your own personal use or to inform others about our materials, but you may not reproduce or modify it without our express permission. To the extent to which this website contains advice it is general advice only and has been prepared by the Company for individuals identified as wholesale investors for the purposes of providing a financial product or financial service, under Section 761G or Section 761GA of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).
The information in this website is not intended to be relied upon as advice to investors or potential investors and has been prepared without taking into account personal investment objectives, financial circumstances or particular needs. Recipients of this information are advised to consult their own professional advisers about legal, tax, financial or other matters relevant to the suitability of this information.
Any investment(s) summarised in this website is subject to known and unknown risks, some of which are beyond the control of CAR and their directors, employees, advisers or agents. CAR does not guarantee any particular rate of return or the performance, nor does CAR and its directors personally guarantee the repayment of capital or any particular tax treatment. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.
All investments carry some level of risk, and there is typically a direct relationship between risk and return. We describe what steps we take to mitigate risk (where possible) in the investment documentation, which must be read prior to investing. It is important to note risk cannot be mitigated completely.
Whilst the contents of this website is based on information from sources which CAR considers reliable, its accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. Data is not necessarily audited or independently verified. Any opinions reflect CAR’s judgment at this date and are subject to change. CAR has no obligation to provide revised assessments in the event of changed circumstances. To the extent permitted by law, BCPL, CAR and their directors and employees do not accept any liability for the results of any actions taken or not taken on the basis of information in this website, or for any negligent misstatements, errors or omissions.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Be the first to receive the latest news, insights and resources from Investible
You are now subscribed !
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.