What is authentic?
A marketplace (as a service) for NFTs. The Amsterdam startup is storming that market in two ways. First with a digital art marketplace. In the digital gallery you will find works with a price tag of several hundred euros to more than 40,000 euros each.
No animal imagery’ often associated with pulling back (developers run away with the money, ed.) and get rich quick schemes’, says co-founder Wouter Kloosterman. “We want to stay far away from that.” To reduce the cold feet around ‘blockchain’ and ‘crypto’, buyers at Authic can also pay in euros and do not need to create a crypto-wallet.
The second pillar is a white label service that allows galleries or other companies to create their own NFT marketplace. The first users of this (API) service include a sports company that collectibles want to offer via blockchain and a digital fashion-Company. For example, Authic wants to become the ‘Shopify for NFTs’.
Wouter Kloosterman received after his studies data science (Tilburg University) offered a job at Cisco. But shortly after starting Authic last year, he got an offer from Angelinvestors, the choice about full-time entrepreneurship was quickly made.
Kloosterman had become involved in the NFT world when he tried to sell digital art as a hobby during the coronalockdown. ‘It sold for nothing, also because I didn’t yet understand how important it is to build a community.’
The use with platforms such as OpenSea and SuperRare proved to be anything but frictionless. ‘I consider myself pretty strong technically, but I still found it complicated how it worked with crypto.’ Kloosterman decided it was time for a more accessible platform “with a lot more quality”.
The first co-founder was Lemar Bachtiar, who with his Zuidas background contributes knowledge in anti-money laundering, intellectual property and tax matters. “I met him at a birthday party and we couldn’t stop talking.”
Via Bachtiar, the trail led to co-founder Tat Luat Nguyen. “He’s pretty much a computer genius and already had experience building decentralized platforms.” Authic now employs 17 employees.
Who’s waiting for it?
Anyone who wants to use blockchain for digital possession. In addition to museums, for example, there are also musicians and game developers who would like to sell NFTs, but who do not always have the technical knowledge to do so. Customers connect the white label marketplace to their own website via an API. In addition to payments, Authic also arranges know your customercontrol or customer control.
The startup also received inquiries from jewelers who could use blockchain for digital certificates of authenticity for expensive watches. Or a real estate agent who wants to use NFTs to cut investments into smaller pieces.
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Authic promises that end users need almost no technical knowledge. This is the way to guide more people into the world of NFTs, says Kloosterman. ‘The blockchain is only used to store property in a decentralized way, the buyer will not notice anything.’
How far is Authentic?
Authic tested the marketplace for the first time last June during the Tefaf art fair. This week, the platform officially goes live with a new collection by Michel Mölder. He made a dozen cinemas (moving pictures) starring, among others, Humberto Tan, Isa Hoes and Jody Bernal.
At the same time, Mölder opens an online exhibition that Authic built in the metaverse platform Spatial. Enthusiasts can talk to the artist there and see and buy his work via a link to the Authics marketplace.
The startup manually integrates the first ten white label customers. In a few weeks, customers themselves will be able to add the marketplace to their website and sell NFTs.
What is the business model?
On the nft marketplace (Authic.io) there is one fairy of 10 percent per artwork and 3 percent per secondary sale. For the white label service (Authic Suite), customers pay a monthly fee and a commission per sold NFT.
The larger the volume, the lower the commission. For example, artists can choose a basic package for 49 euros per month, with more commission per transaction. Larger (international) clients receive a tailored package based on needs and estimated transaction volumes.
Do you still need money?
Authic topped 250,000 euros shortly after the start frog– capital in a group angels, including the ‘CFO of a crypto platform’ and experts from the art world. the nft market may be smaller boomer than a year ago, the appetite for investors has not yet disappeared, says Kloosterman when asked. “Because we stay away from crypto.”
Since last month, the startup has been looking for a new capital round of approximately 1 million euros. According to Kloosterman, he is now discussing this with a number of VC funds from Benelux and the USA.
‘We are also strongly looking for angels which can help grow. For example, people who have experience scaling SaaS companies.’